Rep. Braun: Key House committee advances road funding bill

Posted by: Zach Weismiller & Emily Messmer  | Wednesday, February 8, 2017 4:00 pm

STATEHOUSE (Feb. 8, 2017) – The House Ways and Means Committee passed legislation proposing long-term road funding solutions for Indiana, according to State Rep. Mike Braun (R-Jasper).

“While Indiana ranks nationally for its business climate, our state and local economies greatly depend on the roads and bridges that are in need of repair,” said Braun, who serves on the Ways and Means Committee. “This bill would create long-term and sustainable sources of funding dedicated exclusively to maintaining and improving Indiana’s roadways. It’s critical that lawmakers pass a funding plan that will keep our infrastructure safe and functioning for years to come without saddling future generations with debt.”

Over the next 20 years, Indiana needs on average an additional $1.2 billion annually to maintain and improve state roads and bridges. Local governments will also face significant road funding shortfalls over the next decade.

Braun said House Bill 1002 offers a responsible and data-driven road funding plan that calls for increasing user fees by 10 cents per gallon on gasoline, special fuel (diesel) 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, Braun said the average Hoosier motorist would only pay about $4 more per month at the pump. Moving forward, these fuel tax rates would be indexed annually to a combination of inflation and Hoosier income growth, but capped at no more than one cent per year.

Under House Bill 1002, the remaining 4.5 cents of the sales tax on gasoline would be shifted immediately from the state’s general fund to the State Highway Fund. Braun 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 registration fee on all vehicles and a $150 annual fee on all electric vehicles, which do not pay any fuel taxes. Braun said these fees would provide an ongoing source of revenue for Indiana’s Community Crossings Matching Grant Fund, which provides funding to local road projects.

If passed, this bill 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.

House Bill 1002 will now go to the full House for consideration.

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State Rep. Mike Braun (R-Jasper) represents portions of Daviess, Dubois, Pike and Martin counties.

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