The Indiana House has approved a long-term infrastructure funding bill. House Bill 1002 includes gas tax and vehicle registration hikes and imposes new fees on electric vehicle owners. The proposal also calls for the Indiana Department of Transportation to seek a waiver from the federal government to open up tolling on existing interstates.
House Minority Leader Scott Pelath (D-4) challenged GOP lawmakers, which hold a supermajority in the House and Senate, to fund the bill without raising taxes. "All it takes," he said in a statement, "is the kind of courage that recognizes you do not have to inflict the largest tax increase in state history on the people who can least afford it. I will remind you that House Democrats advanced a plan that would have provided upwards of $800 to $900 million a year toward state and local roads without increasing a tax or raising a toll. House Republicans voted it down."
HB 1002 would also shift the sales tax on gasoline to the State Highway Fund, bump up the taxes on special fuel and the motor carrier surcharge and index fuel tax rates annually to 2024.
Ed Soliday (R-9), who chairs the House Roads and Transportation Committee and authored the bill, says the average Hoosier would pay around $4 more per month at the pump under the current plan. He calls the bill "a responsible plan that supports safe roads and bridges, which directly effects the health of our economy. This comprehensive bill is backed by years of data, providing funding for state and local infrastructure without creating unnecessary debt. The House road funding proposal is now in the hands of Senate lawmakers, and I look forward to continuing the discussion."
The state estimates more than $1.2 billion in additional funding will be needed each year to maintain and improve road and bridge infrastructure over the next 20 years.
House Speaker Brian Bosma (R-88) says "today’s passage of House Bill 1002 marks an important step and is the culmination of a 6-year long process of determining our funding needs and the best options to meet those needs. We look forward to working with our counterparts in the Senate to continue the conversation."
The bill now heads to the Senate and you can view it by clicking here.