Gas tax hike not a popular option to generate funds to fix Iowa' - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Gas tax hike not a popular option to generate funds to fix Iowa's roads

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DES MOINES, Iowa (KTIV) - DES MOINES, Iowa (KTIV)- Last year, the state of Iowa spent $600-million to fix city, county and state roads in Iowa. This year, they'll spend $700-million. But, year after year, the state falls short in funding leading some to consider a gas tax hike to make up the difference.

Iowa last raised the gas tax in 1989. With gas still hovering around $3 a gallon, a gas tax hike isn't popular. Rep. Dan Huseman, (R) Aurelia says, "I'm not supportive of a gas tax increase." Rep. Ron Jorgensen, (R) Sioux City says, "I'm not in favor of a gas tax increase."

The people these politicians represent don't seem to want an increase either. Rep. Dan Huseman, (R) Aurelia says, "They have told me 'no' flat out by a pretty wide majority."

Representatives Dan Huseman, and Ron Jorgensen, both sit on the House Transportation Committee. The committee chair has promised a bill raising the state gas tax by a dime to take care of an annual shortfall in road funding. Rep. Ron Jorgensen, (R) Sioux City says, "We do not have a revenue problem. It's a problem of prioritization." It comes down to where that money goes, as well as, where it comes from. Rep. Dan Huseman, (R) Aurelia says, "Can we find the money elsewhere? The governor has asked the DOT to look for ways to find the money."

Some have suggested using some of the state's projected $920-million surplus. Rep. Chris Hall, (D) Sioux City says, "There's some potential, but we should look at all the options." Hall worries about the example it sets. Rep. Chris Hall, (D) Sioux City says, "There's a danger to set a precedent for earmarks."

With opposition mounting in both parties, the gas tax may stall as it gets started.

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