State Budget Boosts Local Highway Funds

State lawmakers backed off their push to tie county road money to the implementation of a wheel tax. The budget passed Friday by state lawmakers commits one percent of annual sales tax collections to the Motor Highway Vehicle Fund, for an additional $215 million annually to INDOT, counties, cities and towns. Starke County is on track to get more than $500,000 in extra road funds from the state over the next two years. The county does not collect a an excise tax on vehicle registration, also known as a wheel tax. State lawmakers briefly considered requiring counties to implement such a tax in order to draw down their share of road funds. St. Joseph is the only neighboring county that collects such a tax.

Pulaski County will get an additional $582,393 from the state over the next two years. Marshall County’s share is $1.1 million, LaPorte County will get an increase of slightly over $1 million, and Jasper County will draw down an extra $718,122 per year.

The Association of Indiana Counties applauds the move as a great step forward in improving our state and local road networks.