House committee approves Indiana road funding bill

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INDIANAPOLIS (AP): The House transportation committee has approved a bill that would increase taxes on cigarettes and gasoline to pay for fixing Indiana’s crumbling roads and bridges.

The measure pushed by committee Chairman Ed Soliday was approved 8-5 Wednesday. It now will be considered by the House Ways and Means Committee.

Soliday, a Valparaiso Republican, says the bill provides a long-term solution to infrastructure funding by raising the gas tax by an estimated 4 cents. It would also increase the price of a pack of cigarettes by $1.

Democrats opposed the plan because it increases taxes. So does Gov. Mike Pence, who has proposed drawing down state budget reserves and borrowing money to pay for short-term road improvements.

Soliday dismisses the governor’s plan as shortsighted.

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