Promising no new taxes or tolls, Indiana House Democrats have unveiled their road funding plan which they say can meet the state’s needs with existing revenue.
House Republicans have called for indexing the gas tax to inflation as part of their plan to pay for roads.
Democrats say they can pay for road construction by cutting “fraud, waste and abuse”, transferring the entire sales tax on gasoline to the road fund, converting the sales tax on special fuels to the roads, using proceeds from the next generation trust fund from the lease of the toll roads as a loan fund for local governments and freezing all future tax cuts at their present levels.
Democrats says the plan forces the state to prioritize, however they downplayed the fact that income tax rates were set in January so the freeze would not work when it came to higher income earners.
The Democrat plan also calls for banning campaign money from influencing public projects, putting an emphasis on local road construction and maintenance before any new construction.
You can hear the plan in the Leon-Tailored Audio above.
House Speaker Brian Bosma and Roads and Transportation Chairman Ed Soliday offered the following reaction to the Democratic plan…
We are now six weeks into session, and we are finally hearing from the House Democrats on how to address our shared concerns for the future of Indiana’s roads. Their plan would raise taxes, result in cuts to education and jeopardize our state’s AAA credit rating. In the last month alone, we have heard of many jobs and business investments coming to Indiana in direct response to our state’s top-ranked business climate and pro-growth policies. Raising taxes on Hoosier employers is the wrong move and would be a major employment setback for the average worker. The House Republicans have put forth a data-driven and sustainable long-term plan, that reforms the way we pay for our roads and doesn’t harm our state’s fiscal health or business climate,” said Bosma.
“The House Democrat’s proposed plan is missing responsible, sustainable, long-term funding. They do not fully understand our current and future infrastructure needs and they have a plan that is lacking in data to back up their proposal. The door is always open for a bipartisan solution, but we refuse to kick the can down the road. Our plan is backed by years of study, producing a data-driven, lasting solution to Indiana’s infrastructure needs that does not create debt for future generations,” said Soliday.