Legislature set to pass strongest infrastructure investment in state history

Posted by: Erin Reece  | Thursday, April 20, 2017 4:00 pm

STATEHOUSE (April 20, 2017) – In the final days of the 2017 legislative session, lawmakers are set to make a historic investment in Indiana’s state and local infrastructure.

House Speaker Brian C. Bosma (R-Indianapolis), Senate President Pro Tem David Long (R-Fort Wayne), State Reps. Tim Brown (R-Crawfordsville) and Ed Soliday (R-Valparaiso), and State Sens. Luke Kenley (R-Noblesville) and Michael Crider (R-Greenfield) announced the details of their comprehensive, responsible and sustainable plan to fund Indiana’s roads and bridges over the next 20 years.

House Bill 1002 will provide nearly $900 million in new annual funding for state roads and bridges by 2024, and local communities will see an average of $300 million in new road and bridge funding each year. Overall, the plan is expected to generate $1.2 billion in new annual revenue for state and local roads and bridges beginning in 2024 

“This comprehensive road funding plan marks the strongest infrastructure investment in state history,” Bosma said. “We met our long-term goal of creating a comprehensive, responsible and sustainable plan that funds our roads for the next generation. Hoosiers recognize the need to maintain and improve our infrastructure, and this conservative approach directs all fees paid at the pump directly to roads. This plan also ensures those who utilize our roads are paying for them. House and Senate lawmakers ultimately struck the right balance between funding Indiana’s greatest asset while protecting budget stability.”

“This legislation delivers a historic long-term investment in Indiana’s transportation infrastructure,” Long said. “Investing in our roads is crucial to public safety, economic development and quality of life across the state. This is a responsible, comprehensive funding plan and I look forward to seeing the positive benefits for our state in the years ahead.”

The plan increases user fees by 10 cents per gallon on gasoline, special fuel and motor carrier surcharge taxes to restore buying power lost to inflation. These fees would be indexed annually for the next seven years, but wouldn’t increase more than 1 cent per year. The gasoline tax has not been increased since 2003 and the other fees haven’t been increased since 1988. 

Under the plan, the remaining 4.5 cents of the sales tax on gasoline would be shifted over five years starting in 2020 from the state’s general fund to the State Highway Fund, which is dedicated solely to roads and bridges.

The measure calls for a new $15 annual fee on all vehicles, a $150 annual fee on electric vehicles and $50 for hybrids registered in Indiana. The money would provide a sustainable source of funding for Indiana’s Community Crossings Matching Grant Fund, which provides road funding to local governments. Bosma said important changes were also made to expand grant eligibility to help smaller cities, towns and counties fund local infrastructure.

Under the proposal, the Indiana Department of Transportation would study tolling and submit a waiver to the federal government that would allow Indiana’s executive branch and the State Budget Committee to approve tolling projects. 

A conference committee report will be released later today, and the House and Senate will vote on the proposal on Friday. If the measure passes both chambers, it will move on to the governor for final consideration.

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House Speaker Brian C. Bosma represents House District 88, which includes the northeast corner of Marion County and portions of Hancock and Hamilton counties. 

A high-resolution photo of Bosma can be downloaded here.

Senate President Pro Tempore David Long represents Senate District 16, which includes portions of Allen and Whitley counties.

A high-resolution photo of Long can be downloaded here.