Indiana Senate passes its version of road funding bill that would raise gas tax, add fees

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.– Lawmakers in the Indiana Senate passed their road funding plan Tuesday.

House Bill 1002 aims to establish a “sustainable, long-term road funding plan for Indiana,” according to Indiana Senate President Pro Tem David Long (R-Fort Wayne).

The measure would raise the gas tax by 10 cents over two years, includes an additional $15 vehicle registration fee and adds a $100 fee for commercial license plates. In addition, the bill would add a $5 fee on each new tire bought in the state.

The Senate bill differs from the House version, which immediately shifts all gas tax revenue to road improvements. The House version also called for a 10-cent increase in the diesel fuel tax, while the version advanced by the Senate Committee on Tax and Fiscal Policy proposes a 6-cent increase phased in over two years.

The House planned to add a cigarette tax increase to the budget to offset revenue lost from shifting tax money to roads.

The Senate bill will now go to a conference committee, where lawmakers from the House and Senate will try to work out their differences and reach a compromise. After a new bill is agreed upon, they’ll hold another vote before it goes to Governor Holcomb’s desk.

Sen. Long issued the following statement:

“Today’s passage of House Bill 1002 is an important step in our effort to establish a sustainable, long-term road funding plan for Indiana. Taking care of our transportation infrastructure supports our growing economy and positions us to maintain our reputation as the Crossroads of America. It also means improved safety and less traffic congestion for everyday Hoosier drivers. This legislation is the result of a comprehensive bipartisan study involving members of the public, a variety of state and local leaders, and many industry experts and stakeholders. It is in the long-term interest of our state and I’m pleased to see it pass the Senate. Today’s vote, however, does not mean that the work on this bill is finished. House Bill 1002 will head to a Conference Committee, where differences between the House and Senate versions of the legislation will be ironed out.”