State Legislature

Little movement on gas tax increase in Iowa

Efforts to raise the state gas tax in Iowa to fund road and bridge repairs appear to be falling short once again.

Many of the state’s farm and commodity groups have lobbied for the increase. But House Speaker Kraig Paulsen of Hiawatha says they haven’t gained much traction.

“I don’t think anything’s changed in that dialogue this session,” Paulsen says.

Senate Republican Leader Bill Dix of Shell Rock says he’s not sensing a groundswell for a gas tax increase.

“I believe that what you’re seeing happen in the Iowa Senate is that people are listening and while attitudes may be changing about that, at the moment they’re not hearing a strong message from the vast majority of their constituents to make those changes,” Dix says.

Iowa transportation officials estimate they are 215 million dollars short of what’s needed to maintain and build new roads and bridges. Iowa’s gas tax hasn’t been raised since 1989.

Radio Iowa contributed to this story.

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