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House GOP preserves tax hikes

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Democrats in the Indiana House offered an alternative road funding plan Monday that calls for using the money from sales tax on gasoline for roads instead of putting the money in the state general fund, as happens now.

It’s a plan that would spend down the state surplus.

‘When you’re talking about new revenue,” said Minority Leader Scott Pelath, “the average citizen will first say to you, ok, but you’ve gotta use the money you’ve already taken from us first.”

“House Democrats feel that the tax increases that are included in House Bill 1001 currently are unfair to Hoosiers,” said Rep. Dan Forestal (D-Indianapolis.)

Republicans instead want to increase the gasoline tax by a nickel and hike the cigarette tax by a dollar in a road funding plan that now includes a small cut in the state income tax.

The Republicans defeated the Democratic proposal on a vote of 28-to-66.

The GOP road funding bill should pass easily in a vote that will likely take place Tuesday.

That will send the bill to the state Senate where the tax hikes are likely dead on arrival. The governor has already said that he doesn’t support them.