The Indiana Chamber was pleased overall to see the Senate response to the House road funding bill. Several aspects of the plan will be determined as this bill goes forward – including how it interfaces with the budget bill’s (HB 1001) evolution.
Some key Senate changes from the House road funding plan are:
- removal of the sales tax revenue collected on fuel sales that would directly go to roads
- a Chamber-supported $75 annual registration fee for hybrid vehicle
- modified distribution of the state/local road funds
- requirement change from “may” to “shall” for INDOT to seek a waiver to toll interstate highways
- addition of a $100 annual transportation infrastructure improvement fee that applies to commercial
- vehicles greater than 26,000 lbs.
- addition of a $5 fee per new tire sale (currently 25 cents per tire)
- addition of a 10-cents per gallon aviation fuel excise tax with revenue going to the airport development grant fund
This version of the bill should bring in about $672 million per year. Tolling has the potential of bringing in up to $400 million per year, when implemented. Removing the House proposed sales tax revenue collected on fuel sales that were earmarked for the highway fund reduces the total by over $300 million. As the bill moves forward, the Senate may have other cashflows in mind that can be repurposed to replace that revenue stream. Doing so will help get the road funding bill close to the $1.2 billion a year the extensive Funding Indiana’s Roads for a Stronger, Safer Tomorrow taskforce recommended last year.
The Chamber testified in support of this version of the bill. It keeps the discussion going and presents other ideas and options to be considered for the final version of the bill, which we will work to bring to a good landing at the end of session.
The Chamber will continue to advocate for a strong, user-fee based model to address Indiana’s $1.2 billion per year road funding gap. We encourage members of the business community to contact your state senator to let them know they need to support HB 1002 to address the huge $1.2 million gap in Indiana’s road funding.
Call to Action: Connect with your state senator via our grassroots page. Let them know today that long-term road funding is important to you and your company!