Senate Republicans Cut Taxes From House Road Funding Plan

Feb 26, 2016

Credit Brian Hefele / https://www.flickr.com/photos/brhefele/6973020335

Senate fiscal leadership Thursday unveiled its attempt at a compromise in the road funding debate. The effort came in the form of a committee amendment that dismantled much of the House Republicans’ proposal.

The Senate’s action came one day after House Republicans inserted the entirety of their plan into a Senate bill, ensuring it would be kept alive in the process.  That’s because the Senate committee only kept small portions of the House plan in the proposal it unveiled. 

Gone, for instance, says committee chair Luke Kenley (R-Noblesville), are the House Republicans’ two tax increases.

“I just couldn’t quit thinking about the fact that a one-time indexing on the gas tax and a reliance on another dwindling resource, the cigarette tax -- I just couldn’t get comfortable with that,” he says.

The Senate’s plan does keep a House Republican provision that increases local tax options for road funding.  It also inserts the Senate’s one-time injection of more than $400 million for local roads.  But Sen. Karen Tallian (D-Portage) notes on what she says isn’t in the proposal.

“We need a long term solution for local road funding and we need it right now,” she says.

The committee advanced the proposed compromise to the full Senate.