The Iowa Department of Transportation’s received a small amount of good news when it comes to the budget. D-O-T spokeswoman Dena Gray-Fisher says road use tax collections that help fund construction projects were better than expected in the past six months.Those tax collections are 10 to twelve million dollars above projections in the first six months of the fiscal year, but the budget was 10 million dollars in the red, so things are just about even. Gray-Fisher says the news is a small consolation. They need a trend of increased revenues as they’re still predicting a 100-million dollar deficit in the highway program over the next five years. She says record car sales in November helped push up the tax collections.There was a spike in the purchase of new vehicles in November, which they attribute to warmer weather and the zero interest financing. Gas prices have gone down in the last year, but Gray-Fisher says that’s not been a big factor in gas tax collections. She says it has more to do with overall travel in the state. Gray-Fisher says recreational travel has increased in the recent months.
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