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House Bill 1002 – a Needed Investment in Infrastructure

Thursday, May 18, 2017

This guest post by Lee Lewellen, President and CEO of the Indiana Economic Development Association (IEDA), offering perspective on the recently passed legislation House Bill 1002, which can be viewed at: https://iga.in.gov/legislative/2017/bills/house/1002#digest-heading

Each year when IEDA hosts a group of site selectors from around the country for our annual site selector’s conference, their evaluation of Indiana’s business climate is frequently mixed: their praise for the state’s low tax rates and low business cost has been tempered by a frustration with a lack of investment in upgrading and maintaining critical infrastructure.

‘How can a state that promotes itself as the ‘crossroads of America,’ they ask, ‘do such a lousy job of investing in its roads and bridges?’

This year, the Indiana General Assembly heard the concerns of site selectors and many other stakeholders, IEDA among them, and passed a major funding bill, designed to upgrade state and local roads and maintain them into the future.

Legislation on road and infrastructure funding marked another key priority this session. Both chambers approved HEA 1002 a long-term funding plan that by 2024 would generate more than $1.2 billion in new revenue for state and local road funding annually. The measure increases the gas tax and over time transfers additional sales tax revenues to roads. In 2018, it would result in $617 million in new money: $357 million for state roads and $260 million for local roads.

 The funding plan increases the current 18-cent-per-gallon gasoline tax by 10 cents, which in itself would result in $300 million in additional revenue in 2018. The special fuel tax, currently 16 cents per gallon, and the motor carrier surcharge tax, currently 11 cents per gallon, would also increase by 10 cents per gallon. All fuel tax rates would be indexed annually using a formula that incorporates inflation and Indiana personal income growth, meaning the taxes will likely increase over time.

More fuel tax revenues will be dedicated to road construction and maintenance than ever before.

 

Logistics is not just an industry focus for Indiana, but it represents critical connectivity for two of our other major industries, manufacturing and agriculture. This investment represents not just road funding, but enhances our competitive advantage in attracting and keeping critical business.

This year, I’m looking forward to seeing the site selectors at our conference and letting them know that Indiana has invested in our major infrastructure assets, while continuing its leadership as a low cost of business state.

Lee Lewellen, President and CEO
Indiana Economic Development Association
317-313-8365
www.ieda.org
llewellen@ieda.org