House advances road funding bill

Posted by: Emily Gaylord  | Tuesday, February 2, 2016

INDIANAPOLIS (Feb. 2, 2016) – Members of the Indiana House of Representatives voted in favor of State Rep. Ed Soliday’s (R-Valparaiso) bill that would provide funding dedicated to maintaining and improving Indiana’s roads and bridges.

“This plan is a data-driven solution to repair and maintain our state’s roads and bridges without creating financial burdens for future generations,” Soliday said. “The House road funding proposal is now in the hands of Senate lawmakers, who hopefully back this permanent fix this session.”

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 been increased in more than 10 years, to be indexed to reflect the change in buying power from 2002 to today.

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 four cents for roads and bridges. To offset the shift of gas sales taxes, the bill provides new revenue for Medicaid, where $590 million of its expenses go toward smoking-related illnesses, to be generated from an increased cigarette tax – allowing existing funds to be redirected back to roadways.

House Bill 1001 includes a personal income tax rate reduction to be phased in over 10 years. Once fully implemented, Indiana would have the lowest personal income tax in the nation.

Soliday’s bill will now be sent to the Senate for consideration.

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Rep. Soliday represents the city of Valparaiso, all of Center, Union and Washington townships and portions of Liberty and Jackson townships.