Transportation plan includes increases in gas, cigarette taxes

INDIANAPOLIS -- A plan to fix the state's roads and bridges includes an increase in the state's cigarette tax and gasoline tax.

The plan cleared its first test at the Statehouse Wednesday.

The plan also includes a study of tolling I-65 and I-70. 

For the average driver, it would mean paying about $25 more at the pump each year.

Republican leadership is proposing to raise the state's tax on cigarettes by $1 per pack. The plan directs a portion of the state's reserves to transportation. 

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It also gives about 44 cities the ability to impose or increase wheel or excise taxes based on population. 

House Roads and Transportation Committee Chairman, Rep. Ed Soliday, says it is a plan to stop the decline of the state's roads. 

"This gives us stability, sustainability into the future to take care of the roads we have," Rep. Soliday said. 

House Democrats don't support using tax increases to pay for it. 

 "The State of Indiana is sitting on $2 billion of taxpayer money. We feel like we should live within our means before we go to Hoosiers and ask them to chip in a little more," Rep. Dan Forestal said. 

The committee approved the bill in an 8 to 5 vote. It now moves to the Ways and Means Committee before it will be sent to the full House for a vote. 


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