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Infrastructure proposal approved by committee

Posted: Friday, January 27, 2017

By Alex Brown, Multimedia Journalist

The House Roads and Transportation Committee approved a long-term infrastructure spending proposal. House Bill 1002 calls for an immediate 10-cent increase in the gas tax, as part of a package that House Republicans say could generate about $1.2 billion per year for the next 20 years.

The bill was authored by Representative Ed Soliday (R-4), who chairs the committee. In addition to the gas tax hike, the bill also increases the special fuel and motor carrier surcharge taxes. It would also implement a new $15 annual fee on all vehicles and a $150 annual fee on all electric vehicles registered in Indiana.

“The bill’s purpose is to provide a sustainable infrastructure funding plan without creating debt for the next generations,” said Soliday. “This plan would ensure Indiana has money dedicated to roads and bridges to maintain what we have and build for the future. This effort is a major reform to Indiana’s outdated road funding formula.”

If the bill is signed into law, the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) would also be required to study tolling on Indiana’s interstates and submit a federal waiver to allow tolling.

The committee heard public testimony Wednesday and INDOT Commissioner Joe McGuinness provided a breakdown of the funding the department would need to address Indiana’s infrastructure needs. The bill now moves to the House Ways and Means Committee for further consideration.