Effort to Fix Roads With Gas Tax - ABC5 News Des Moines, IA

Effort to Fix Roads With Gas Tax

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by Phil Prazan

pprazan@myabc5.com

@PhilPrazan

Reports come out every year that say our road system in Iowa is crumbling.  The gas tax we pay when we fill up our tanks hasn't been raised since 1989.  Some say upping it again could help pay to fix the roads.
 
Standing tall in the view of Iowa drivers are billboards with startling facts: 1 in 5 bridges are structurally deficient, 40% of Iowa roads need repair.

Iowa Good Roads Association says it will cost the state an extra $215 million a year to just maintain the roads as is, not including improvements.

There's a bill just entering the House Transportation Committee, that would raise the gas tax three cents next year, three cents the year after that, then four cents the year after that. That would total 10 cents, approximately $32 per car per year.

Rep. Dennis Cohoon is on the Transportation Committee and says he's still looking at several other options and recognizes a straight tax increase is the bumpiest way.

"For it to move forward it's going to take support on both sides.  It's not going to be something carried by one party of the other.  It's also going to need support from the Governor," says Cohoon, a Democrat from Burlington.

We did check in with the Governor and while he wouldn't say if he supported a gas tax, he said he will respect any bill that makes it out of the House or the Senate.

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