Gas tax conversations have been plentiful this legislative session. Increasing the gas tax has been discussed every year I have served in the Iowa Senate. However, the topic has never gained the momentum as it has this session.
While the first instinct for some may be to raise the gas tax, there are 150 legislators who bring different perspectives on how to address problems facing our state. Some of these lawmakers have crafted alternative plans rather than adding a new tax on fuel sales.
I have filed a bill which would take 4 percent (estimated at $280 million) annually from the general revenue stream. This money would be directed into the Road Use Tax Fund. Ideally, this would address the need for safe roads and bridges. I am also suggesting we have a conversation about what projects are funded by the Road Use Tax Fund and prioritize accordingly. It is my belief that this fund should only be used for our roads, bridges, airports and rail. I get upset seeing this money being spent on new rest stops, art at rest stops and bike trails.
It is important that we as a government realize the need to cut spending and become more efficient like businesses and families do every day in Iowa. Instead of growing government let’s tighten our belt. I don’t know about you, but I am sick and tired of government agencies raising my taxes on a regular basis.