Gas prices won’t always remain low.
Gas prices won't always remain low.
Gas prices won’t always remain low.

The Madison County Republican Party Central Committee voted unanimously on a resolution calling for an alternative to raising the gas tax in Iowa.  The resolution echoes one recently passed by the Johnson County Republican Party.

“As a Republican I support the basic American principles of fiscal responsibility and common sense. The Madison County Republican Central Committee agrees with the Johnson County Republican Central Committee and also stand in opposition to a gas tax increase,” Heather Stancil, co-chair of the Madison County Republican Party told Caffeinated Thoughts.  “We believe in the practical alternative of prioritizing needs over wants with the funds we already have; we cannot continue to pit fellow Iowans against each other for money. I encourage our legislators to roll up their sleeves, think outside of the tax increase box, and do the hard work necessary to protect all Iowa family budgets while meeting infrastructure needs.”

Below is the text of the resolution:

Whereas Governor Branstad has just been re-elected to a historic sixth term, carrying all but one of Iowa’s 99 counties;

And whereas Governor Branstad has indicated addressing the need for repairing defective roads and bridges will be a high priority for him in 2015, and that he is open to discussion of all ideas for generating the needed revenues to do so;

And whereas some believe we are not allocating enough funds to address priority needs in a timely fashion and have therefore called for an increase in the gas tax to provide additional funds;

And whereas bureaucrats, including those in the road building and maintenance portions of our local and state government, have incentives to “spend all the money and ask for more” instead of giving back un-needed funds to the general fund or transferring them to other jurisdictions with higher priority needs for road or bridge repair;

And whereas the allocation of road use funds in Iowa has been governed by a formula adopted in 1949 (most recently changed in 1989) which directs 47.5% to primary roads, 24.5% to secondary roads, 8% to farm-to-market roads, and 20% for city streets;

And whereas in 2008 the Iowa General Assembly created the TIME-21 funding stream dedicated to maintenance and construction of primary highways (60%), secondary roads (20%), and municipal streets (20%) by changing vehicle registration fees and schedules, and by increasing trailer and title fees;

And whereas for state fiscal year 2013 receipts into these two funds were $1,300,000,000 comprised of $444,000,000 in fuel taxes, $780,000,000 in registration fees, and $80,000,000 from miscellaneous other sources;

Therefore be it Resolved that the Madison County Republican Central Committee calls on the Governor to propose a two-year set-aside of the allocation formula and replacing it with a statewide prioritization (by engineers, instead of politicians and bureaucrats, based on utilization, safety, and existing conditions) of all the road and bridge repair needs so that we can see if there are actually enough funds to meet the high priority needs if funds are transferred from lower priority “nice, but not necessary” projects (such as colored, formed-with-designs highway medium barriers rather than grey pre-fabricated ones on I- 80 through Iowa City, concrete instead of gravel shoulders on both sides of the ring-road around Muscatine, and installing new bridges that won’t be used for years due to lack of an existing road to meet them, etc.)

Unanimously approved by the Madison County Republican Central Committee, Monday February 2, 2015

Signed

Joe Van Ginkel – chair

Heather Stancil – Co-chair

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