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Senate Advances Tax-Raising, Fee-Creating Road Funding Bill

After a more than hour-long debate, the Indiana Senate advanced legislation Tuesday that raises taxes and creates new fees to fund the state’s road and bridge maintenance.

The Senate version of the road funding bill raises the gas tax 10 cents over the next two years. It raises commercial vehicle fees by $100 and adds a new $5 fee on all tire purchases. Like the House, it creates a $15 registration fee for all vehicles and authorizes the governor to explore tolling. And unlike the House, it does not shift sales tax on gasoline dollars to pay for roads.

Sen. Mike Delph (R-Carmel) looks at all that and says the bill goes too far.

“There are a lot of folks that can’t afford all the fees and all the taxes and all the potential tolling that we are about to impose upon them,” Delph says.

But Sen. Luke Kenley (R-Noblesville) says voting for the bill is about ensuring Indiana continues moving forward economically.

“Or we don’t have enough guts to raise the revenue to do the things that we need to do,” Kenley says.

The Senate advanced the bill 34 to 13. It now heads to conference committee, where both chambers will work out their differences.

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