STATEHOUSE (Jan. 20, 2016) – The House Roads and Transportation Committee passed State Rep. Ed Soliday’s (R-Valparaiso) bill proposing responsible, long-term road funding solutions for Hoosiers.
“The bill’s purpose is to provide a sustainable, data-driven plan to fund our present and future infrastructure needs without creating debt for future generations,” Soliday said. “We have a responsible plan that supports safe roads and bridges, which directly effects the health of our economy.”
Soliday said the state’s stationary gas tax is losing ground to inflation, and generating less revenue due to improved fuel efficiency. This bill calls for the gas tax, which has not increased in more than 10 years, to be indexed to reflect the change in buying power from 2002 to today.
In addition, the bill redirects the sales tax on gasoline over time to fund Indiana’s roads and bridges. Currently, the equivalent of only one cent of the sales tax on gasoline is dedicated to the Motor Vehicle Highway Account. This bill would capture an additional 4 cents for roads and bridges. To offset the shift of gas sales taxes, the bill provides new revenue for Medicaid – allowing existing funds to be redirected back to roadways.
HB 1001 also includes assistance for local units by allowing counties to adopt a local option income tax (LOIT) specifically for transportation infrastructure. Larger municipalities could adopt an additional excise wheel tax, and maximum allowable rates for existing county wheel taxes would be increased. In addition, the bill establishes matching grants for local road and bridge projects.
Soliday’s bill can now be considered by the House Ways and Means Committee.
Rep. Soliday represents the city of Valparaiso, all of Center, Union and Washington townships and portions of Liberty and Jackson townships.