Indiana allows increase in tolls to boost spending on state’s infrastructure
Indiana’s highways, largest airport, commuter rail lines, recreational trails and broadband infrastructure are set to get a $1 billion funding boost. According to the governor’s office, an amended agreement between the state and the private company that runs the Indiana Toll Road will generate the money needed for this new infrastructure investment. (In 2006, Indiana entered into a 75-year agreement to lease the toll road to private investors.) In exchange for the $1 billion, the state is allowing the Indiana Toll Road Concession Company, LLC, to increase toll rates on heavy vehicles by 35 percent.
Most of the new money will go to road projects, but dollars also will be earmarked for improvements to Indianapolis International Airport, a new water port along the Ohio River, and double-tracking projects to improve rail service in northwest Indiana. In addition, Indiana will spend $100 million on grants to expand broadband services to underserved areas and another $90 million to connect hiking and biking trails.
The state’s latest infrastructure investment comes only one year after lawmakers raised the gas tax by 10 cents per gallon and increased vehicle fees in order to invest more in roads and bridges. Iowa, Michigan, Nebraska and South Dakota also have raised their state gas taxes over the past five years.
|Stateline Midwest: October 2018||3.82 MB|