House Ways and Means Committee advances road funding bill

Posted by: Emily Gaylord  | Wednesday, February 8, 2017

STATEHOUSE (Feb. 8, 2017) – The House Ways and Means Committee today passed State Rep. Ed Soliday’s (R-Valparaiso) bill proposing long-term road funding solutions for Hoosiers.

“Indiana’s current road funding formula is outdated and in need of major reform,” Soliday said. “This plan would ensure Indiana has money dedicated solely to infrastructure. This bill is data-driven, fiscally responsible and will maintain our roads and bridges for years to come.”

Over the next 20 years, Indiana needs on average more than an additional $1.2 billion annually to maintain and improve roads and bridges.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

House Bill 1002 calls for increasing user fees by 10 cents per gallon on gasoline, special fuel and motor carrier surcharge taxes to restore buying power lost to inflation. The gasoline tax has not been increased since 2003 and the other fees haven’t been increased since 1988. Under this plan, Soliday said the average Hoosier motorist would only pay about $4 more per month at the pump. Moving forward, these fuel tax rates would automatically be indexed on an annual basis, limited to 1 cent per year.

Soliday’s bill would also shift the remaining 4.5 cents of the sales tax on gasoline immediately from the state’s general fund to the State Highway Fund. Soliday said this helps ensure all taxes paid at the pump are dedicated to funding road and bridge improvements.

The bill would also implement a new $15 annual fee on all vehicles and a $150 annual fee on all electric vehicles registered in Indiana. Soliday said the moneys would provide a stable and sustainable source of funding for Indiana’s Community Crossings Matching Grant Fund, which provides road funding dollars to local governments.

If passed, House Bill 1002 would also require the Indiana Department of Transportation to study tolling and submit a waiver to the federal government to allow tolling on existing interstates.

Soliday’s bill can now be considered by the full House.

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State Rep. Ed Soliday (R-Valparaiso) represents House District 4, which includes portions of Porter County.

A high-resolution photo of Soliday can be downloaded by clicking here.