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House committee votes to introduce more than $200 million in transportation taxes

House committee votes to introduce more than $200 million in transportation taxes

Idaho Freedom Foundation staff
March 27, 2013
Idaho Freedom Foundation staff
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March 27, 2013

The House Transportation and Defense Committee Tuesday unanimously voted to introduce several legislative proposals that would increase transportation taxes by more than $200 million annually.

“There is a shortfall in both maintenance and new construction,” said Sen. Bert Brackett, R-Rogerson, as he spoke about funding for roads and highways in the state. He is proposing several new tax increases that would cost taxpayers an estimated $236.5 million each year.

Among Brackett’s proposals are increases in taxes on both the sale of vehicles and on renting of vehicles. Included would be an increase in the taxes levied on the sale of certain automotive accessories including tires and batteries.

Brackett also proposed to the committee an increase in registration fees for trucks and passenger vehicles, new fees on electric and hybrid vehicles, and increased fees for overweight and oversized truck loads.

Fuel taxes would increase under Brackett’s plan as well, with gasoline taxes rising 2 cents per gallon over a five-year period, and diesel fuel taxes rising 3 cents per gallon during the same period. Brackett also is seeking an expansion of the “transfer fee” charged to companies that import petroleum products in to the state, and additional funding for a “fuel enforcement pilot project,” which would grant expanded enforcement powers to state police officers for the enforcement of the new transportation taxes that he proposes.

Brackett noted to the committee that “our estimated shortfall is probably worse than the numbers portray because of inflation,” and stated that if immediate road maintenance needs were not soon addressed, the problems would worsen and would require road reconstruction. He told the committee that “we need to begin the conversation on these things.”

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