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Indiana lawmakers move forward on competing transportation funding proposals 1/13/2016

1/13/2016, The Transportation Investment Advocate Blog – A day after Indiana House Republicans released a new transportation funding proposal, Gov. Mike Pence’s plan was approved by the Senate Transportation Committee. The House Democrat proposal is currently being considered by the House Committee on Roads and Transportation.

Indiana House Republicans unveiled a plan Jan. 11 to increase transportation funding by raising the gas tax by 4 cents-per-gallon, the diesel tax by 7 cents-per-gallon, and instituting a new $100 electric vehicle registration fee. The plan would also link motor fuel taxes to inflation and impose an additional $1 tax on cigarettes. House Speaker Brian Bosma (R- District 88) expects the proposal could generate between $1.3 billion to $1.5 billion per year to pay for state transportation infrastructure needs.

Gov. Pence’s (R) $1 billion competing plan was unanimously approved on Jan. 12 by the Indiana Senate Transportation Committee. The bill would extract $241 million from Indiana’s budget surplus, with an additional $150 million in annual general fund appropriations for three years. Additional funding includes $50 million in earned interest from the Next Generation Trust Fund, $26 million from other bonds, and $240 million financed with the backing of the state’s AAA bond credit rating.

House Democrats released a proposal on Nov. 9, 2015 to generate $2 billion in new transportation revenue by reallocating the state’s special fuels tax as well as sales tax paid on motor fuel purchases—currently being deposited into the General Fund. That bill is currently with the House Committee on Roads and Transportation.