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House GOP Road Funding Plan Also Includes New Taxes

State of Indiana

House Republicans revealed more specifics about their road funding proposal as the caucus Thursday unveiled its legislative agenda for the 2016 session, which includes new and increased taxes:

In addition to raising the gas tax to match a rise in inflation – which the House Republican caucus previously revealed would be part of its plan – Speaker Brian Bosma says the proposal would also allow local municipalities with populations of at least 20,000 to implement a wheel tax. 

Currently only counties have that ability. 

Bosma says the state would help communities by creating a matching grant program for local projects.

“Where they could, on a dollar-for-dollar basis, apply for grants created by the funds that we are proposing to raise here,” Bosma says.

Bosma says the plan would also allow counties to increase existing wheel and excise tax rates and adopt a new income tax dedicated to roads and bridges.  House Minority Leader Scott Pelath says his caucus’ proposal – which shifts around state tax dollars to increase road funding – is an easy sell.

“I’m not as certain they can sell theirs particularly when it comes to, quote ‘revenue enhancements,’” Pelath says.

House Republicans will officially unveil their entire plan Monday.

Brandon Smith is excited to be working for public radio in Indiana. He has previously worked in public radio as a reporter and anchor in mid-Missouri for KBIA Radio out of Columbia. Prior to that, he worked for WSPY Radio in Plano, Illinois as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. His first job in radio was in another state capitol, in Jefferson City, Missouri, as a reporter for three radio stations around Missouri. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.