Republican lawmakers faced questions and doubts about their proposals to raise fuel taxes during a town hall meeting, from a crowd that is normally supportive of them.
The town hall – held in Carmel, a wealthy, northern suburb of Indianapolis – was organized by Americans for Prosperity-Indiana, a fiscally conservative group. AFP-Indiana strongly opposes the fuel tax increases in the House GOP road funding plan.
Instead, the group proposes shifting all sales tax on gasoline to pay for roads and freezing all other state spending to compensate for that shift. Sen. Luke Kenley’s (R-Noblesville) not a fan.
“But I would just caution you not to be sucked into the idea of, OK, let’s take the sales tax on gas, shove it into the roads, let the rest of government die, be frozen – and then within a couple, three years, you’re going to have an uprising on your hands,” Kenley says.
But town hall attendee Melba Kiser says she’s worried about how the gas tax hike will affect her husband, an independent contractor who drives 1,400 miles a week.
“The decision to drive is not an option, it’s a necessity,” Kiser says. “And it doesn’t necessarily equate to making more money.”
AFP-Indiana will hold other town halls around the state on the issue.