INDIANAPOLIS – Local government leaders praise the House Republican road funding plan, applauding the potential influx of money to their communities. But taxpayers advocates aren’t happy with the source of that new money.
Each mayor who spoke – Hammond’s Tom McDermott, Andy Cook from Westfield and La Porte’s Blair Milo – say they support the bill.
McDermott, whose city acts as a portal between Chicago and much of the Midwest, says with a current budget of $6 million per year the city is still $3 million short of being able to overlay and patch what they already have. And he says the bill's dollar-for-dollar matching grant program would help.
"It allows for home rule, which allows us to have debates in our own communities on how we solve the problem locally," McDermott said.
But Americans for Prosperity’s Justin Stevens argues that taking more money from Hoosier taxpayers with a higher gas tax isn't necessary since there is enough money in the state reserve.
"Our problem is not a lack of revenue, but it's a lack of priorities," Stevens said.
Valparaiso Republican Rep. Ed Soliday, the bill’s author, says polling shows most Hoosiers would be OK with the gas tax increase, which amounts to about $25 more a year for the average driver.
The Ways and Means Committee didn’t take a vote on the measure Wednesday.