Deadline quickly approaching for Hoosier lawmakers to hammer out road funding plan

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- Time is running out for Indiana’s lawmakers to agree on a road funding plan.

A conference committee is now hashing out the differences between the House and Senate versions of a bill, with a Friday deadline looming.

Whatever the end result, it’s expected to cost drivers more money.

To fix and maintain the roads, they need $1.2 billion a year, which lawmakers believe should come from drivers, but haven’t agreed on what form the payments will take.

“The bottom line is taxpayers did not ask for this back in November in the election,” said Justin Stevens from Americans for Prosperity.

Both the House and Senate versions of the bill propose a number of so-called “user fees”, including a 10 cent increase in the gas tax, a $150 electric car fee and $15 vehicle registration fee.

“I think more than anything, roads are paid for through user fees,” said Matt Greller of Accelerate Indiana Municipalities. “It’s not necessarily a tax. It’s a user fee to use what we drive on.”

The Senate plan would also add a $5 tire fee and $100 commercial license plate fee.

The proposals would also give the governor the option to seek federal approval to impose tolls on some roads, although specific ones are not laid out right now.