INDIANAPOLIS (Jan. 11, 2016) – House Speaker Brian C. Bosma (R-Indianapolis) and fellow House leaders announced a data-driven plan to meet Indiana’s road funding needs.
“House Republicans are prioritizing this responsible, comprehensive and sustainable plan to address our state’s needs to fund our roads and bridges,” Bosma said. “Our proposal also provides local governments with additional funds and the flexibility they need to invest in their infrastructure.”
State Rep. Ed Soliday (R-Valparaiso) authored House Bill 1001 to help maintain and improve Indiana’s roads and bridges.
If passed, the bill would allow for a portion of the state’s reserves to be devoted to transportation infrastructure. Brown, chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, said it’s critical to maintain a prudent amount of reserves as it allows the state to preserve its AAA credit rating and provide a safety net for unexpected shortfalls.
“This is a fiscally responsible plan that takes our immediate and future infrastructure needs into account,” said Brown, co-author of the bill. “Many states are also grappling with this issue, and fortunately, Indiana is in the financial position where we can establish a sound plan that allows us to remain in the black.”
Soliday said the state’s stationary gas tax is losing ground to inflation, and generating less revenue due to improved fuel efficiency. This bill calls for the gas tax, which has not increased in more than 10 years, to be indexed to reflect the change in buying power from 2002 to today.
In addition, the bill redirects the sales tax on gasoline over time to fund Indiana’s roads and bridges. Currently, the equivalent of only one cent of the sales tax on gasoline is dedicated to the Motor Vehicle Highway Account. This bill would capture an additional 4 cents for roads and bridges. To offset the shift of gas sales taxes, the bill provides new revenue for Medicaid – allowing existing funds to be redirected back to roadways.
“As chair of the House Committee on Roads and Transportation, I am committed to ensuring Indiana’s transportation infrastructure is safe and continues to support the state’s thriving economy,” Soliday said. “When crafting House Bill 1001, we focused on three principles, including fiscal responsibility, data-driven metrics and sustainable infrastructure funding. With this proposal, Indiana will be able to maintain our current infrastructure, finish ongoing projects and plan for the future without creating long-term debt for our children.”
Bosma said the plan also includes assistance for local units by allowing counties to adopt a local option income tax (LOIT) specifically for transportation infrastructure. Larger municipalities could adopt an additional excise wheel tax, and maximum allowable rates for existing county wheel taxes would be increased. In addition, the bill establishes matching grants for local road and bridge projects.
Please click here for a handout regarding HB 1001.