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Wisconsin Watch partners with Gigafact to produce fact briefs — bite-sized fact checks of trending claims. Read our methodology to learn how we check claims.


The city of Wauwatosa estimates that its proposed transportation utility would impose an annual fee of $10,143 on a 24,000-square-foot supermarket.

Wauwatosa, a Milwaukee suburb, is proposing to fund road improvements with revenue from the fee.

Fees would be based on how many vehicular trips come and go from a property, as determined by national engineering standards.

Single-family homes would be charged $51 per year. The estimated fee for a 1,000-square-foot convenience store/gas station is $4,552.

The Common Council is tentatively scheduled to vote Aug. 1, 2023 on creating the utility.

The city of Wisconsin Rapids, the villages of Pewaukee and Weston, and the towns of Buchanan and Gibraltar are among Wisconsin communities with a transportation utility fee, according to the Wisconsin Policy Forum.

The Wisconsin Supreme Court has heard oral arguments but not yet ruled in a case that challenges the legality of Buchanan’s transportation utility.

This Fact Brief is responsive to conversations such as this one.


City of Wauwatosa Transportation Utility

Wisconsin Policy Forum A ‘TUF’ Dilemma Over Local Transportation Funding

Wisconsin Courts Wisconsin Property Tax Payers, Inc. v. Town of Buchanan (p. 11)

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Tom Kertscher joined as a Wisconsin Watch fact checker in January 2023 and contributes to our collaboration with the The Gigafact Project to fight misinformation online. Kertscher is a former longtime newspaper reporter, including at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, who has worked as a self-employed journalist since 2019. His gigs include contributing writer for PolitiFact and sports freelancer for The Associated Press.