gas tax

Gov. Holcomb Talks Five-Year Road Plan

Jul 13, 2017

Gov. Eric Holcomb announces the priorities for the next five years of road and bridge repairs. (Photo by Drew Daudelin)

Gov. Eric Holcomb talked Thursday about the first five years of a 20-year initiative to improve the state’s roads and bridges.

The plan would result in 10,000 miles of existing highways being resurfaced and about 1,300 bridges being repaired or replaced.

Holcomb says the initiative, called Next Level Roads, outlines about $4.7 billion in investments over the next five years.

GOP Leaders Unveil Final Road Funding Package Details

Apr 20, 2017

 

Republican legislative leaders unveiled what Speaker Brian Bosma calls the “best infrastructure program” in state history.

GOP leaders say the funding package they’ve put together will eventually generate about $1.2 billion a year for state and local roads. Senate President Pro Tem David Long (R-Fort Wayne) says that plan will last the next two decades.

“We’re not kicking the can down the road like they do in Washington,” Long says.

 

House Speaker Brian Bosma says legislative leaders have agreed to a road funding plan in principle. Leadership will now take the plan to their caucuses for approval.

Though stingy on details, Bosma calls the agreed-upon plan the “strongest road investment” in state history.

“I can tell that you we believe – after a lot of discussion with the Senate – that we’ve met our mutual goals of long-term, comprehensive road funding,” Bosma says.

After a more than hour-long debate, the Indiana Senate advanced legislation that raises taxes and creates new fees to fund the state’s road and bridge maintenance.

Senate Changes Road Funding Bill, Adds New Fees

Mar 28, 2017

Senate lawmakers put their own stamp on this session’s comprehensive road funding bill while keeping the measure’s primary tax increase intact.

After amendments in a Senate committee, the road funding bill still increases the gas tax by 10 cents. Now, that increase would happen over two years – 5 cents a year. The diesel fuel tax would only go up six cents, instead of 10, also over two years.

The new $15 annual fee for all vehicles is unchanged; the Senate added a $100 annual fee on all commercial vehicles and a $5 fee on all new tire purchases.

 

Republican lawmakers faced questions and doubts about their proposals to raise fuel taxes at a town hall meeting, from a crowd that is normally supportive of them.

The town hall – held in Carmel, a wealthy, northern suburb of Indianapolis – was organized by Americans for Prosperity-Indiana, a fiscally conservative group. AFP-Indiana strongly opposes the fuel tax increases in the House GOP road funding plan.

House GOP Rolls Out Road Funding Plan

Jan 4, 2017

 

House Republicans unveiled their road funding proposal and the proposed first steps would cover less than half of the state’s needs.

House Speaker Brian Bosma says Indiana needs an average of about $1.2 billion a year over the next 20 years for its roads. His caucus’ plan would immediately raise all fuel taxes by 10 cents to begin working toward that goal. Bosma says the House GOP plan would also create a new $15 annual fee on all vehicles.

“So, adding the registration fee and the gas tax – for the average Hoosier, $5 per month,” Bosma says.

Lee Coursey / https://www.flickr.com/photos/leeco/

A debate over a specific way to generate transportation funding dollars resurfaced during the third meeting of the state roads task on Thursday.

The discussion focused on funding sources. And an idea promoted by a Purdue expert testifying before the panel provoked debate among its members: specifically, the value of vehicle miles traveled, or VMT, fees.

In a VMT system, people pay for how many miles they drive.

Republican Sen. Brandt Hershman, (R-Buck Creek), says he has issues with using that type of fee to pay for roads.

Frank Hebbert / https://www.flickr.com/photos/f-r-a-n-k/359123912

Researchers say a flat fee on electric vehicles won’t help solve declining road funding revenues, like those faced here in the state. 

Electric vehicles don’t pay into road funding the same way traditional vehicles do because they don’t pay fuel taxes. 

So, some states have imposed flat registration fees of $100-200 on electric vehicles. 

But IUPUI professor Jerome Dumortier says his study shows that plug-in vehicles account for, at most, only about 1.5-percent of the decline in fuel taxes.  And he notes that a flat fee is economically inefficient.

Brian Hefele / https://www.flickr.com/photos/brhefele/6973020335

Senate lawmakers and House Democrats pushed back Monday against those advocating for the House Republican road funding proposal and its two tax increases. 

Lawmakers heard about an hour of public testimony on road funding from local government officials and road construction industry representatives.  And the people who testified all say none of the plans offered this year provide a permanent solution. 

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