Public, legislators learn more about proposed gas tax increase

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Indiana lawmakers are proposing a raise in the gas tax to increase revenue for road projects. The group Americans For Prosperity has an alternative plan for legislators before an increase in taxes. The group hosted a town hall meeting to explain the plan, and to give the public the chance to ask questions.

Local Republican Representatives Curt Nisly, Chris Judy, Martin Carbaugh and Dave Ober were all on hand to take questions. However, none of those representatives at the Town Hall co-authored or will hear this bill in their committees. So, like the several dozen who packed the town hall, the lawmakers were still trying to figure out what they think of the bill too.

The gas tax hasn’t been increased since 2003. Right now it’s a flat rate of 18 cents per gallon. A bill was introduced in the General Assembly to increase it by 10 cents.

“I believe they went straight to our pocketbooks,” Monica Boyer, who attended the town hall, said.

That’s what the Americans For Prosperity believe too. The group’s message during its town hall was don’t increase taxes. They want to see a freeze in state spending, and for all gas tax revenue to go directly to road projects including federal and sales tax. Right now one percent of the seven percent sales tax goes to roads.

“I love the freezing option,” Boyer said. “I don’t think that’s unreasonable and we need to start there.”

Representative Curt Nisly from Goshen does not want to see the gas tax increase.

“I am definitely in favor of finding cuts or looking for other things before we look to do a tax increase,” Nisly said.

Representative Chris Judy of Fort Wayne is ‘neutral’ on this proposal and wants to hear more from Hoosiers.

“A theme was why don’t we move the sales tax on gas over to the roads,” Judy said. “From what I’m hearing, if we’re in need for roads, I’m hearing why don’t we take all of that now and put it toward roads before we raise taxes. So, taking input from constituents and taking that back down to Indianapolis.”

A lot of other ideas were thrown around including instead of a tax increase start tolling the interstates around Indy.

For more about Americans for Prosperity click here.