In a video ad that appears on screens mounted on 3,000 gas pumps across Wisconsin, Republican Gov. Scott Walker attacks his Democratic challenger, state schools superintendent Tony Evers, over the state gas tax.
Wearing a Milwaukee Brewers jacket, Walker says in the 15-second spot released Oct. 9, 2018:
"Hi, it’s Scott Walker. Good thing you’re filling up, because if Tony Evers wins, he’ll raise the gas tax by as much as a dollar a gallon."
Walker has focused on the gas tax for months ahead of the Nov. 6, 2018 election. A week after the gas pump ad came out, he repeated the $1 claim about Evers in a TV ad. And the $1 claim is also made in a previous TV ad by Americans for Prosperity-Wisconsin.
We’ve already been down this road. And what Walker says at the pump goes too far.
When Walkers claimed Evers will "raise property taxes, raise income taxes and raise gas taxes by as much as a dollar a gallon," our rating was Half True. The claim was more accurate on some taxes and less on others.
What we found regarding the gas tax:
On Aug. 15, 2018, the day after Evers won the primary election, Walker said Evers might be willing to quadruple the state’s 32.9 cents-per-gallon state gas tax because Evers hadn't said how much he would be willing to increase it.
Later that morning, a reporter asked Evers about Walker’s comment and whether he would raise the gas tax by $1. Evers responded more generally by saying: "I would support looking at anything, whether it’s removing tax credits, whether it’s slimming down state government, whether it’s gas taxes. Everything is on the table."
But by the afternoon, Evers said Walker was lying about his views on the gas tax. "The only thing I ever said about that," Evers declared, "is that every possible revenue source is on the table."
So, saying Evers will raise gas taxes by up to $1 per gallon, when he has only said he would consider raising the tax some amount, goes too far.
And when we asked Walker’s campaign to back Walker’s gas-pump statement, the campaign didn’t cite anything new Evers has said since our earlier fact check.
Walker says Evers will "raise the gas tax by as much as a dollar a gallon."
Evers has said he is open to raising the tax, which is now 32.9 cents per gallon, but the $1 figure comes from Walker. While Evers has said he "has no range" of how large an increase he would consider, he has called a $1 increase "ridiculous."
For a statement that has an element of truth but ignores critical facts that would give a different impression, our rating is Mostly False.
YouTube, Scott Walker ad, Oct. 9, 2018
Email, Scott Walker campaign spokesman Ben Voelkel, Oct. 23, 2018
Email, Tony Evers campaign spokesman Sam Lau, Oct. 23, 2018
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Scott Walker's new ad hitting Tony Evers on the gas tax is running on screens mounted at service station pumps, not TV," Oct. 9, 2018
PolitiFact Wisconsin, "Evidence mixed on Scott Walker claim that rival Tony Evers will raise property, income and gas taxes," Oct. 11, 2018
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