Indiana Republicans push gas tax that is among highest in nation despite cutting corporate income tax nearly in half. Motorists will pay an additional 11 cents per gallon on July 1, 2017.
June 30, 2017-In a misguided effort to force you out of your car, Republican legislators passed a 10 cent per gallon gasoline tax that takes effect on July 1, 2017. Republican Legislators who have cut the corporate income tax from 8.5% to 4.9% in a series of moves in recent years, say the increase in the gasoline tax is necessary to fund road construction. The legislation passed by the Republican supermajority will provide an increase in the gas tax that equates to at least 20 cents per gallon by the time it is fully implemented. Additionally, motorists will pay an additional 1 cent in sales tax on the increased tax which is included in the price of gasoline, for an immediate increase of 11 cents per gallon. In addition to the gasoline tax, Republican leaders passed a $15 per vehicle increase in registration fees for gasoline vehicles and a $150 increase in registration fees for electric vehicles. A plan to put tolls on Interstates throughout Indiana is being studied and may be implemented also.
Local Republicans Hal Slager, Ed Soliday, Julie Olthoff, and Mike Aylesworth were all on board the plan to increase the cost of driving through increased taxes and tolls. Doug Farr, a consultant for the Slager/Soliday supported Northwest Indiana Regional Development Authority breaks down the plan as simply as possible by saying “I don’t mind if people want to drive, they should just be willing to pay for it.” Farr explains that “urbanism has this one sort of hidden metric and that is vehicle miles traveled.” Farr goes on to challenge leaders to reduce vehicle miles travelled by 50% by the year 2030. Despite spending millions on consultants, Slager and Soliday have not funded a study to determine how their plan would affect employment in auto related industries in the region.