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Local Roads Not A Priority Under House Funding Plan

Brown county roads

Photo: Bill Shaw/Indiana Public Media News

Workers conduct maintenance on a road in Brown County. Funding for these kinds of projects has been tight.

Nearly 90 percent of Indiana’s roads are maintained by counties, cities and towns…yet those local units get less than half of the state’s primary road funding dollars.

All fuel tax dollars go into the state’s Motor Vehicle Highway Fund, as does a percentage of the sales tax on fuel. And under the House GOP road funding plan, money from a new $150 electric car registration fee would also flow into that fund. From there, the fund splits in two – a little more than half going to state roads, a little less than half going to local roads.

House Roads Committee Chair Ed Soliday says, while locals manage a much larger number of lane miles, the state has bigger costs.

“The heaviest expense is I-65, 80-94 and 70 just because of the wear.”

Senate Appropriations Committee Chair Luke Kenley says he’s not inclined to change the split. He says local units may use those dollars for things other than road maintenance.

“I would be concerned about putting a heavy percentage of that in there when it’s not going to go into the roads.”

The Senate now has control of the road funding plan as the second half of session begins.

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