A proposal to raise the gas tax by four cents has stalled in a legislative committee. The committee met Wednesday and adjourned without making any recommendations. The committee tentatively endorsed the gas tax increase along with higher driver’s license and pickup registration fees, but it died when the governor said he wouldn’t sign a gas tax hike.
Geri Huser, a Democrat from Altoona, wishes the governor had given them more time to build the case for the gas tax increase before dismissing it. Huser says the only reason the legislature was looking at the gas tax is because it’s the only fee that makes non Iowans pay. "They use our roads, they should have to pay a percentage," Huser says.
Huser says the gas tax would have worked with some other fee adjustments. Huser says many legislators thought if they could reduce the vehicle registration fees, and then raise the gas tax, it would offset any increase.
Huser says the committee decided to leave the issue to the full legislature. She says with the gas tax off the table, it takes away their ability to look at other options. Legislators have been looking at ways to raise new revenue as the Iowa Department of Transportation says the state will face a 27-billion dollar shortfall in road construction funding over the next 20 years.