During his weekly media availability today, House Speaker Brian Bosma said the need to repair Indiana’s roads is more important than any anti-tax pledge a lawmaker may have signed in the past.
Bosma and the House Republicans have offered a road funding plan that indexes the sales tax on gasoline and the motor fuel tax to 2015 levels; they have not been raised since 2002. They also call for an increase in the cigarette tax to help support Medicaid funding which would free up more general revenue dollars for roads.
A number of lawmakers have seemed cool to the idea of raising taxes to pay for roads, in part because they signed no-tax increase pledges in the past. And in his State of the State address, Governor Mike Pence said he opposed a tax increase at this time and the conservative activist group Americans for Prosperity has also come out against the idea.
However, Bosma told reporters today that Indiana needs a long-term, responsible and sustainable funding solution to pay for its roads and anti-tax pledges need to take a back seat to the state’s infrastructure needs.
The Speaker also said lawmakers will look at tolling as part of the way to pay for roads as well.
You can hear the Speaker’s comments in the Leon-Tailored Audio above. It runs about 22 minutes.