The Chamber was pleased to see the Senate pass a long-term road funding bill (34-13). During the floor vote, the Chamber lobbying team worked to get additional votes for what might have been a much closer margin. Five Republican senators voted against the Chamber on HB 1002: John Crane (Avon), Mike Delph (Carmel), Aaron Freeman (Indianapolis), Jean Leising (Oldenburg) and Andy Zay (Huntington). One Democrat, David Niezgodski (South Bend), voted with the Chamber.
There are differences between the House and Senate proposals, however:
- House version raises just over $1.1 billion per year; the Senate about $672 million a year.
- House version converts all sales tax collected (well over $300 million) on fuel sales to road funding; the Senate does not.
- House version has $15 annual registration fee for regular automobiles and $150 for electric cars; the Senate adds $75 fee for hybrids (the Chamber supports this addition).
- House version has a 10-cent fuel tax increase for both gasoline and diesel fuel, with annual increase based on index from 2019-2024. The Senate phases in the fuel taxes: five cents per year for two years; diesel tax is three cents a year for two years. Both are indexed at no more than one cent a year per gallon from 2019-2014.
- House version requires the Indiana Department of Transportation to seek a federal tolling waiver; the Senate says it may seek the same waiver but with the approval of the Governor.
- Senate version contains a $5 per new tire sale use fee in addition to the current 25-cent fee; the House does not.
- Senate version increases registration fees for trucks in lieu of additional diesel taxes.
- Senate version adds a 10-cent per gallon aviation fuel excise tax, with revenue from that going to the airport development grant fund.
The “swim lanes” of the bill are now clearly defined. Work will continue during the next two weeks by the Chamber and our coalition partners to reconcile the differences between the two versions. We believe Indiana will finally end up with a long-term sustainable transportation infrastructure funding bill, one of our Indiana Vision 2025 goals.
Call to Action: Please contact your legislators to encourage them to support HB 1002. Let them know today that long-term funding is important to you and your company!