Governor Eric Holcomb has submitted his Statewide Interstate Tolling Strategic Plan to the State Budget Committee. The plan is a requirement of legislation passed in 2017. While Holcomb says he does not plan to push interstate tolling, the plan can serve as a how-to manual to implement such an effort in the future.
In a letter to State Budget Committee members, Holcomb cited the state’s efforts to invest billions of dollars for road construction and maintenance over the next two decades. He said, however, that there may be good reasons to revisit his strategic plan in the future, calling it a "data-driven, financially sound approach that will remain viable for future decisions."
"In the least, I do not want to foreclose a successor from considering tolling as an option for infrastructure improvements," said Holcomb. "Traditional means of funding infrastructure will diminish sometime in the future, and we must continue to analyze innovative funding methods to retain our position as a top state for highway infrastructure."
You can read Holcomb’s full letter by clicking here. The full Statewide Interstate Tolling Strategic Plan can be viewed below.
Indiana House Speaker Brian Bosma (R-88) released the following statement:
I appreciate the hard work that went into this strategic plan and support the governor’s assessment that additional tolling is not necessary in the foreseeable future. Last year, we passed a comprehensive and data-driven road funding plan, which significantly addresses state and local infrastructure needs. Our conservative approach is a model for other states, and positions Indiana to responsibly maintain and improve its infrastructure. While we have taken tremendous steps forward, we will continue to monitor future revenue projections and consider all options as our state’s needs change.
Senate President Pro Tempore Rod Bray (R-37) also issued a statement:
At the Statehouse, lawmakers know how important it is to fund our roads both now and in the future, which is why we recently passed a 20-year road-funding plan that addresses our current and future needs. I’m grateful for the time and effort that went into compiling this report, and I agree with the governor’s position that tolling is not something we need to pursue.
House Enrolled Act 1002, which was approved by the Indiana General Assembly in April 2017, called for $1.2 billion in additional infrastructure funding but included a provision that a study be done on potentially opening the door for the state to approve additional tolling. The following November, the Indiana Department of Transportation released a feasibility study on the subject.
Earlier this year, Holcomb unveiled his Next Level Connections plan, which would create an additional $1 billion in funding for infrastructure projects throughout the state.