Monday, May 14, 2012

Next Indiana Governor Will Have To Raise Taxes To Maintain And Build Roads

The Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette's Niki Kelly  had a story this weekend explaining that the $3.8 billion the state netted from the 75-year lease of the Indiana Toll Road will be depleted by the end of Gov. Mitch Daniels' 8 years in office. A small amount will remain in the bank earning interest, but it has already been committed to ongoing projects that will be completed within the next couple of years. With the toll road money, the state has been able to spend over a billion a year on road projects. Without it, the state receives about a half billion a year from gas tax revenues.

According to Kelly's story, federal funding is precarious with the federal highway trust fund nearly bankrupt. The state hopes to get about $850 to $900 million a year in federal funding, but it needs at least a half billion dollars to maintain existing roads. The next governor will either have to raise gas taxes or vehicle registration fees, or find some new source of revenue, to continue the ambitious transportation plan undertaken during the Daniels administration. I'm betting that neither Mike Pence or John Gregg comes out in favor of a tax increase to support transportation spending during this election year. Gregg has already called for removing the sales tax on gasoline to lower prices at the pump.

1 comment:

Pete Boggs said...

The state may need to open its CAFRs... er coffers.