Gas Tax Hike Called Insufficient

Apr 22, 2015

A  transportation expert in the Iowa House warns Iowa's gas tax increase will fall short of meeting the state's transportation infrastructure needs.   

Burlington Democrat Dennis Cohoon says the Department of Transportation  estimates the state will need more than $215 million for road and bridge work.  The gas tax increase will bring in $204 million or less.

“Most of us are aware that this is not a long-term solution,” Cohoon says. “The revenue from the gas tax will diminish over time.” 

Cohoon says other ideas floated by the DOT should be on the table.

“It's not something I would necessarily support,” Cohoon says, “but we need to look at how much money could  be brought in with tolls or privatizing roads or fees on electric cars.”

Another option is taxing drivers on miles driven instead of fuel used, so fuel-efficient cars share more of the load.

Cohoon says in the meantime the state will need more full-time employees to carry out the road projects the higher gas tax will make possible.  Cohoon commented during debate on a transportation budget that doesn’t include the new gas tax revenue.