INDIANAPOLIS—According to Indiana transportation officials, the growing electrical vehicle market could spell trouble for the State’s bottom line within the next 20 years due to INDOT’s dependence on taxes on fuels for much of its revenue.
Thursday, Indiana Dept. of Transportation officials gave the state’s FIRSST (Funding Indiana Roads for a Stronger, Safer Tomorrow) Task Force a clear message: by 2040, INDOT could suffer a $1 billion loss, meaning it wouldn’t be able to cover its operating costs in full.
”The majority of INDOT’s state funding does come from gas tax, so we’re looking into those impacts,” Natalie Garrett with INDOT said.
The “Build Indiana Council” told the task force that U.S. gasoline consumption could drop between 4-5 percent each year starting in 2025. The executive director of the council argued that means the state’s current funding system needs significant changes fast.
”What you really want to look is the weight of the vehicle and how far they’re traveling. That’s what you should be paying for,” Brian Gould, the Executive Director of the Build Indiana Council, said.
However, the chairman of the task force, State Rep. Jeff Thompson, said all solutions are currently on the table.
”I mean, there’s a lot of data there, and lots of solutions, and I don’t want to jump to a conclusion on what the right solution is,” State Rep. Thompson said.
Another policy consideration would be making Hoosiers pay more of the state’s share. This comes as several Central Indiana mayors are pushing for the exact opposite, claiming more urban localities don’t receive enough from the gas tax as is to fix roads.
”You think they’re bad now? I think in five years they’ll even be worse,” Beech Grove Mayor Dennis Buckley said.
The task force will take public testimony on how cities and the state could change how roads are funded at its next meeting. An official date has yet to be announced at the time of this article’s publication.