Indiana’s roads task force may recommend the state begin tolling interstate highways.
Previous debates over how to pay for Indiana’s infrastructure needs focused on fuel taxes, alternative fuel vehicle levies, and fees based on the number of miles someone drives. The discussion broadened at the second-to-last roads task force meeting. Engineer Steven Davidson recommends Indiana should explore tolling every interstate highway.
“Now that would be implemented over a number of years as the interstate is either expanded, upgraded, rehabilitated,” Davidson says.
Task force co-chair Sen. Luke Kenley (R-Noblesville) says tolling is a realistic possibility.
“Certainly tolling would be the only way you’ll get any revenue out of somebody who’s from out of state who didn’t stop to buy gas,” Kenley says.
The roads task force will issue its recommendation to lawmakers before the legislative session begins in January.
While the recommendation doesn’t bind lawmakers, Kenley says he wants it to give the General Assembly all the information needed to create a long-term plan.
“What is the scope of what we think our need for the next, say, 20 years is? At least an estimate of that,” Kenley says. “Secondly, what is the cost on an annual basis for the maintenance of what we have, and what is the cost of putting in the new roads for the next 20 years?”
Kenley adds he also wants the recommendation to include potential funding sources. Task force co-chair Rep. Tim Brown (R-Crawfordsville) says he’s not sure how specific the report will get there.
“I don’t know if we’ll get specific on numbers, what the cents, you know, what number of pennies will go up on the gas tax,” Brown says.
The task force will meet in December to issue its recommendation.