Here’s why Hoosiers may pay more at the gas pumps to fix roads

gas-prices

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) – Hoosiers may have to pay more at the gas pump this year to help fix the roads.

It’s a plan that Indiana House Republicans are proposing.

The GOP-backed legislation filed Wednesday outlines three main areas to help fund road repairs and future projects.

Supporters of the plan say Indiana needs 1.2 billion dollars a year to fund road repairs and new projects.

To carry out this plan, lawmakers are looking to Indiana drivers and taxpayers to help fund these fixes.

Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology Economics Professor, Dale Bremmer says the change has both short term and long term benefits.

“As long as the money is invested wisely and appropriately, and needed road repair and needed bridge repair, that’ll pay long-term dividends,” said Bremmer. “But on the other hand if you pave roads that don’t need it, then that’s just a waste of money.”

Bremmer says some short-term benefits include a rise in employment and the state’s GDP. He says long-term benefits could be attracting and keeping businesses in state.

Bremmer is concerned whether the gas tax raise should be the main priority in the state house. He also says there’s no guarantee the money would go directly to transportation funds.

The GOP-based proposal includes a 10 cents increase in gas tax, an annual $15 fee to register a vehicle and an annual $150 for electric cars.

Republicans are proposing to hike from 18 cents a gallon to 28 cents.

The Indiana Department of Transportation would also research tolling options and ask the federal government to allow tolling in the Hoosier state.

Some Hoosiers we talked to say the increase in gas prices wouldn’t affect their driving habits.

“I still have to drive back and forth to work every day,” said Krystal Elkins.

“It doesn’t really matter because I have to drive,” said Tamara Wardell.

The plan is no where near a final vote. It could be before April before a decision is made.

If the plan passes the general assembly, this would be the first gas tax increase since 2003.