The Iowa Transportation Commission Tuesday endorsed the study that shows the road use tax fund will fall nearly 28 million dollars short in the next 20 years. The report has already gone to the legislature and Department of Transportation Director Nancy Richardson says this action helps in the argument for more road money.
Richardson says the commission want to formally endorse the report and endorse the recommendations and she says the DOT will use the endorsement as "one more piece of valuable information about the support that exists in doing something about road funding as we continue to work this issue with the legislature."
Richardson says there are a variety of reasons the road use tax has fallen behind. She says revenues have flattened while the needs of the system have grown as the roads age. Richardson says the increased cost of construction has also eroded the DOT’s buying power. Richardson says cutting back isn’t an option.
Richardson says Iowa has a healthy road system that residents have become used to and she says letting roads fall in disrepair or abandoning roads "isn’t something that Iowans are willing to do." Richardson says the DOT is asking Iowans to get behind increased funding.
Richardson says individual citizens, economic development, chambers and local government officials need to let legislators know about the need for more funding. Richardson says the DOT can help people understand the issue with information on their website.
Richardson says if you click on the "TIME 21" logo on the website, it will tell you about the need and what you can say to legislators. Richardson says the state will need a minimum of 200 million dollars of new revenue each year to meet the expected shortfall.