Column: More money needed for state’s roads to stay up-to-date with modern needs

It was a quiet session for the Indiana General Assembly. The state budget passed with time to spare. But there was at least one big change that hasn’t received the attention it probably deserves. The legislature changed Indiana road funding.

Most of the money for road maintenance and construction comes from the state’s motor fuel taxes. Motor vehicle drivers pay an excise tax of 18 cents per gallon on gasoline. Commercial truckers pay 27 cents per gallon in special fuel and surcharge taxes. In total, the state netted $870 million from these taxes and some smaller revenue sources for road funding in 2012.

This money must be carved up between the Indiana Department of Transportation, which maintains state highways, and more than 650 county, city and town highway, road and street departments, which take care of local roads. The state’s motor vehicle highway account has a formula that divvies up most of this revenue. The new budget makes changes to the motor vehicle highway formula.

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