Chesterton Tribune

 

 

Soliday: Largest infrastructure investment in Indiana history approved

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State Rep. Ed Soliday’s, R-Valparaiso, legislation proposing the largest investment in state and local infrastructure in Indiana’s history is headed to the governor’s desk.

House Enrolled Act 1002 will provide nearly $900 million in new annual funding for state roads and bridges by 2024, and local communities will see an average of $300 million in new road and bridge funding each year. Overall, the plan is expected to generate $1.2 billion in new annual revenue for state and local roads and bridges beginning in 2024.

“We have a responsible 20-year plan that supports safe roads and bridges and gives a lot more money for local infrastructure,” Soliday said. “This comprehensive legislation is backed by years of data, providing a historic investment for state and local infrastructure without creating unnecessary debt. This measure is based on compromise and a lot of people working as a team to produce the largest investment in Hoosier history that will have countless positive benefits for our economy for decades to come.”

The plan increases user fees by 10 cents per gallon on gasoline, special fuel and motor carrier surcharge taxes to restore buying power lost to inflation. These fees would be indexed annually for the next seven years but wouldn’t increase more than 1 cent per year. The gasoline tax has not been increased since 2003, and the other fees haven’t been increased since 1988.

Soliday said the remaining 4.5 cents of the sales tax on gasoline would be shifted over five years starting in 2020 from the state’s general fund to the State Highway Fund, which is dedicated solely to roads and bridges.

The measure calls for a new $15 annual fee on all vehicles, a $150 annual fee on electric vehicles and $50 for hybrids registered in Indiana. The money would provide a sustainable source of funding for Indiana’s Community Crossings Matching Grant Fund, which provides road funding to local governments. Soliday said important changes were also made to expand grant eligibility to help smaller cities, towns and counties fund local infrastructure.

Under the proposal, the Indiana Department of Transportation would study tolling and submit a waiver to the federal government that would allow Indiana’s executive branch and the State Budget Committee to approve tolling projects.

HEA 1002 can now be considered by the governor.

 

 

 

Posted 4/25/2017

 
 
 
 

 

 

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