Governor Chet Culver said today he will veto any attempt by the legislature to increase the state’s gas tax. The governor has repeatedly said he opposes the idea of an 8-cent increase in the state’s gas tax.
But now he wants lawmakers to know his veto plans before the House and Senate transportation committees vote on the proposal next week. Culver says, "This not the time to raise taxes on hard-working Iowans who are already struggling to pay their utility bill, their food bill, their mortgage payment."
The Governor maintains there is money available for road and bridge repair at least for the next couple of years.
"We just received 360-million dollars in federal recovery funds just for roads and bridges. That’s the equivalent of raising the gas tax 20 cents," Culver says. Culver also plans to steer at least a third of his proposed $750-million state stimulus package toward roadwork if it passes the Legislature.
Culver says he’d be willing to consider raising the gas tax in a couple of years when the stimulus money runs out and the economy improves. But he says he refuses to increase the tax during a severe economic recession.