Key House committee advances road funding bill

Posted by: Emily Gaylord  | Wednesday, January 25, 2017

STATEHOUSE (Jan. 25, 2017) – The House Roads and Transportation Committee passed State Rep. Ed Soliday’s (R-Valparaiso) bill Wednesday proposing long-term road funding solutions for Hoosiers.

“The bill’s purpose is to provide a sustainable infrastructure funding plan without creating debt for the next generation,” said Soliday who also chairs the committee. “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 This effort is a major reform to Indiana’s outdated road funding formula.”

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, which Soliday said offers a responsible and data-driven road funding plan, 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.

Under House Bill 1002, the remaining 4.5 cents of the sales tax on gasoline would be shifted 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 House Ways and Means Committee.

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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.