INDIANAPOLIS -- Indiana Fourth District Rep. Todd Rokita says the federal highway bill recently passed by Congress provides reliability in funding, eliminating the worry and stress for the state and contractors as they plan for the future of the Hoosier State’s roads. It provides five years of funding, with more than $5 billion for Indiana.
Rokita, a member of the House Transportation Committee, says the federal highway bill is paid for without gimmicks, relying mostly on gasoline tax, with some alternate revenue streams that include funds from the Federal Reserve. Still, he expressed disappointment the gas tax went unchanged. It hasn’t been raised since 1993.
Rokita says Congress is shirking its responsibility by not at least tying it to inflation – a point he acknowledges new Speaker and former Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan doesn’t agree with. The Indiana congressman says he also wants to explore revenue streams that rely on user fees.
“The ideas that would be in play in a user fee concept include – and there might be others – vehicle miles taxed, public-private partnerships, more tolling,” Rokita said.
Both Hoosier Senators – Democrat Joe Donnelly and Republican Dan Coats – support the highway bill, praising the stability it will provide and hailing it as the “best solution” to address the need to repair Indiana’s infrastructure.