Rep. Arnold: Making responsible investments in Indiana’s infrastructure

Posted by: Peter Hoffman  | Monday, May 8, 2017

The 2017 legislative session recently concluded and along with passing a balanced state budget, the General Assembly accomplished a key goal by making the largest investment in state and local infrastructure in Indiana’s history.

Indiana’s roads and bridges connect our homes, schools, offices, factories and farms, and are crucial to our state’s economy. Last year, a bipartisan task force using expert analysis confirmed Indiana will require an average of $1.2 billion in additional annual funding over the next 20 years to maintain and improve our roads and bridges.

House Republicans were determined to take a fiscally responsible approach to this issue and we did not want to saddle future generations with mountains of debt. Additionally, we were committed to not raising income, sales or property taxes that would hurt everyday Hoosiers.

This year, the General Assembly passed a plan, recently signed into law, that ensures those who use and benefit from the roads help pay for them. It provides 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.

By increasing user fees by 10 cents per gallon on gasoline and special fuel and motor carrier surcharge fees, lost buying power due to inflation will be restored. These fees have not been adjusted since 2003 for gasoline and 1998 for the others. These user fees will be indexed annually for the next seven years but wouldn’t increase more than 1 cent per year.

Ensuring the taxes paid at the pump actually go toward Indiana’s roads and bridges was also a key priority. 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 exclusively to roads and bridges. By 2024, every cent in state tax paid at the gas pump will be dedicated solely toward road and bridge funding.

The Local Road and Bridge Matching Grant Fund, which matches local governments 50/50 or 75/25 for local infrastructure projects, are projected to almost double by 2021. This fund helps provide assistance to Indiana communities and gives them the ability to maintain and improve their local infrastructure.

I encourage you to contact me with any questions or input regarding this record investment in our state’s infrastructure at 317-232-9793 or by email at h74@iga.in.gov. Learn more about the work being done at the Statehouse by signing up to receive my email updates at www.in.gov/h74.

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State Rep. Lloyd Arnold (R-Leavenworth) represents House District 74,

which includes portions of Spencer, Dubois, Perry, Crawford and Orange counties.

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