March 6, 2017

State, Local Split Of Road Money Unlikely To Change

Original story from   IPBS-RJC

Article origination IPBS-RJC
The Lafayette Street Department fills a pothole. - City of Lafayette

The Lafayette Street Department fills a pothole.

City of Lafayette

Nearly 90 percent of Indiana’s roads are maintained by counties, cities and towns, yet those local units get less than half of the state’s primary road funding dollars.

And that’s unlikely to change in this session’s road funding plan.

All fuel tax dollars go into the state’s Motor Vehicle Highway Fund, as does a percentage of the sales tax on fuel. And under the House GOP road funding plan, money from a new $150 electric car registration fee would also flow into that fund.

From there, the fund splits in two – 53 percent going to state roads, 47 percent going to local roads.

House Roads Committee Chair Rep. Ed Soliday (R-Valparaiso) says, while locals manage a much larger number of lane miles, the state has bigger costs.

“The heaviest expense is I-65, 80-94 and 70 just because of the wear,” Soliday says.

Senate Appropriations Committee Chair Sen. Luke Kenley (R-Noblesville) says he’s not inclined to change the split. He says local units may use those dollars for things other than road maintenance.

“I would be concerned about putting a heavy percentage of that in there when it’s not going to go into the roads,” Kenley says.

The Senate now has control of the road funding plan as the second half of session begins.

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