Indiana House Committee approves tax hikes

The bill is meant to create an ongoing funding source for road improvements. (WISH photo)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – There was a vote in favor of a pair of tax hikes at the Statehouse Wednesday.

The tax hikes are included in a road funding bill and they mean that if you buy gas or cigarettes you may soon be paying more.

The proposal passed a committee in the Indiana House of Representatives. It’s unusual, in part, because it’s a Republican proposal.

It calls for a $1 per pack increase in the cigarette tax and a four cent per gallon hike in the gas tax.

It’s a proposal that Republican Governor Mike Pence spoke against in the State of the State Address, but it passed the committee with eight Republicans voting for it.

All four Democrats and just one Republican voted against it.

“This is a good start. I’d like to go a little farther,” said Rep. Tom Saunders (R-Lewisville.) “I bought gas for a dollar 43 cents a gallon over the weekend. I’d be in favor of a 10 cent gas tax increase.”

“There is a significant need,” said Rep. Ed Soliday (R-Valparaiso,) “and what we’re asking is enough money in this bill through multiple sources to stop the decline of Indiana roads.”

The bill is meant to create an ongoing funding source for road improvements. It would cost the average driver between $25 and $30 in increased taxes per year.

Other plans, including one from the governor, would create one-time increases in money for roads.

The bill now goes to the House Ways and Means committee where, again, it’s expected to pass.

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