House GOP Roads Funding Plan Fueled By Tax Hikes

Dec 17, 2015

Credit Jim Grey / https://www.flickr.com/photos/mobilene/

House Speaker Brian Bosma Wednesday began to reveal the details of his caucus’ comprehensive road funding plan, a proposal that includes tax increases.

The House GOP road funding plan includes a move Speaker Brian Bosma says is long overdue – automatic increases in the state’s fuel taxes tied to increases in the consumer price index and highway construction costs.  The House plan would also divert more money from the sales tax on gasoline into road funding…and to offset that shift, Bosma says the legislation would raise Indiana’s cigarette taxes to help pay for Medicaid.  The Speaker admits that’s a tenuous proposition in an election year.

“Most Hoosiers realize that we’ve got to fund an infrastructure that’s got a lot of wear and tear on it and they’re willing to do so – according to those I’ve spoken with and surveyed,” Bosma says.

The other funding plans proposed so far by Governor Mike Pence, House Democrats and Senate Republicans are more about short term solutions – which Buck Creek Republican Senator Brandt Hershman says may be more feasible in 2016’s short, non-budget writing session.

“Personally, I think that because of the depth of the discussions they’re probably going to continue into a budget year but we’ll have to see," Hershman says.

The House GOP’s plan to index fuel taxes would create an immediate increase of five cents in the state’s gas tax and four cents in the diesel tax.