Conservative Group Opposes Republican Plan To Boost Gas Tax
By Mike Perleberg
(Indianapolis, Ind.) – A conservative group is trying to sway Indiana’s Republican-led legislature from raising the state sales tax on gasoline.
Republicans in the Indiana House have put forth a plan supported by Governor Eric Holcomb that would increase the gas tax by 10 cents per gallon as part of a long-term solution to funding road and bridge repairs and maintenance. In addition to raising the price for annual vehicle registrations by $15, the proposal also calls on the Indiana Department of Transportation to study potential tolls on interstate highways.
The increases could raise more than a billion dollars each year to be spent on new and existing roads.
But conservative group Americans for Prosperity says the increase would make Indiana’s tax on gasoline the fifth-highest in the nation. The group is planning a series of town hall meetings this month in order to put pressure on lawmakers to oppose the tax increase.
“We look forward to meeting with voters across Indiana and discussing the facts about infrastructure spending and the impact of a gas tax hike,” said Justin Stevens, state director for Americans for Prosperity Indiana.
The town halls are scheduled for January 26 in Carmel, January 27 in Jefferson, and January 28 in Fort Wayne. Some Indiana legislators are scheduled to attend the meetings.
“We hope legislators will accept our invitation to the town halls in their districts and listen to voters’ concerns. The gas tax debate should take place in every community where Hoosiers will pay the tax, not just in Indianapolis among lobbyists, bureaucrats, and politicians. It’s time for lawmakers to listen up and discuss the facts with their constituents,” said Stevens.
AFP would rather Indiana rededicate revenue from the existing state tax on gas to roads and infrastructure.
House Republicans’ proposed new gas tax would cost the average Hoosier motorist about $4 more per month, or $48 a year, at the pump. Southeastern Indiana State Rep. Randy Frye (R-Greensburg), a member of the Roads and Transportation Committee, backs the House plan.
“House Bill 1002 offers a responsible and data-driven road funding plan. The bill calls for increasing user fees by 10 cents per gallon on gasoline, special fuel and motor carrier surcharge taxes to restore buying power lost to inflation. The gasoline tax has not been increased since 2003 and other fees haven’t been increased since 1988,” said Frye.