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House GOP's Road Funding Plan Includes Tax Hike
Updated February 26, 2016 7:31 AM
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(STATE HOUSE) - The Senate is holding firm in its opposition to House Republicans' road funding plan.

House Republicans have proposed increasing gas and cigarette taxes to create long-term road funding. Senate Appropriations Chairman Luke Kenley says those sources would run out. He's called for a task force to consider funding options and make recommendations for next year's budget.

Kenley insists it's not just a study committee, because the panel members would be the key figures from the legislative and executive branches, including the chairs of the fiscal and transportation committees in the House and Senate, INDOT Commissioner Brandye Hendrickson, and the directors of the Indiana Finance Authority and the Office of Management and Budget.

The task force would have explicit instructions to exhaust all current funding options before looking at tax increases. Those options would include an assessment of which road projects could be funded through public-private partnerships, and which roads would make sense as toll roads.

In place of the House plan, the committee has reinserted Governor Pence's short-term plan, which the Senate passed unanimously three weeks ago.

The panel did add the House's proposal to give cities and counties more leeway to impose wheel taxes.

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