Indiana road funding bill with tax hikes passes House committee

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By: Brian Slodysko/Associated Press

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INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The House transportation committee has approved bill that would increase taxes on cigarettes and gasoline to pay for fixing Indiana’s crumbling roads and bridges.

The measure pushed by committee Chairman Ed Soliday was approved 8-5 Wednesday. It now will be considered by the House Ways and Means Committee.

Soliday, a Valparaiso Republican, says the bill provides a long-term solution to infrastructure funding by raising the gas tax by an estimated 4 cents. It would also increase the price of a pack of cigarettes by $1.

Democrats opposed the plan because it increases taxes. So does Gov. Mike Pence, who has proposed drawing down state budget reserves and borrowing money to pay for short-term road improvements.

Soliday dismisses the governor’s plan as shortsighted.