Road funding bill that raises gas tax moves forward

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INDIANAPOLIS (WLFI) — A road funding bill that would raise the gas tax is moving forward in the Indiana Senate Tuesday but not without an amendment.

The plan is expected to spread the responsibility of paying for roads among all drivers, including heavy trucks which put significant wear and tear on the state’s infrastructure.

State Sen. Brandt Hershman says the bill would raise the gas tax in Indiana by 10 cents. Five cents the first year and another five the second year. Those using diesel would pay a little less, with a three-cent increase the first year and the same hike the second year.

Hershman says the diesel fuel tax is lower because state lawmakers are looking to raise a number of other taxes for large trucks, so those drivers will be paying their fair share.

“What we’ve really tried to do is establish a broad comprehensive transportation funding plan that asks for a little bit from everyone and makes it fair to all,” he said.

Toll roads remain a possibility in Hershman’s amendment.

“Permissive language that says that the governor may ask for a waiver from the federal government and may look at tolls,” Hershman said. “It doesn’t require him to do so as the previous bill had done.”

Indiana’s budget is lean and taxpayer friendly, so Hershman said making cuts elsewhere to fund roads isn’t an option.

Tuesday morning the Senate’s Tax and Fiscal Policy passed House Bill 1002 with a vote of 11-2. It will now be considered by the full Senate.