INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – As Indiana representatives get ready to vote on a road funding bill, it appears Governor Eric Holcomb favors the republican plan to increase taxes, and opposes the democrat’s “no new taxes” road funding plan.
It’s a debate that’s sparking interest from house leaders. “I think [the democrats] plan, frankly, I said the day it came out, I thought it was misguided, but we’ll certainly listen to their ideas, and see if we can salvage any of it,” House Speaker Brian Bosma said.
“You have your gas station owners involved, and you have people at the pump a little bit more engaged with the issues there’s no telling what might change,” House Minority Leader Scott Pelath said.
On Wednesday, The House Ways and Means Committee approved a road funding bill. The 20 year republican plan would increase the price at the pump by ten cents, add $15 annual vehicle fees, and $150 annual electric vehicle fees.
On Thursday, Governor Holcomb weighed-in. “I stated at the outset, and remain all here that all things remain on the table, in terms of my perspective,” Governor Holcomb said. “The only thing that’s not is no option at all.”
But not everything is on the table. This week, house democrats rolled out their proposal.
The four-year plan would cut government waste, use all gas sales tax on roads, dip into the state’s reserve and freeze government waste. “I don’t think that their plan, that they put forward addresses our needs, and protects our fiscal strength as a state of Indiana,” Governor Holcomb said.
Despite a lack of his support, democrats vow to bring the debate to the house floor. The bill may not change next week, but minority leaders hope it can before Governor Holcomb signs anything into law.
“You don’t expect to prevail necessarily on every given vote, and every step of the way, but if you take the long-term view, and you keep raising the points it’s very clear you can influence the end product,” House Minority Leader Pelath said.
The house is expected to vote on this early next week. It could head to the senate by Wednesday. If the GOP plan is signed into law, republicans said Hoosiers will spend $60 more a year in gas and fees.