Governor Terry Branstad says he would be open to an increase on Iowa’s gas tax to help fund road and bridge repair. Iowa is currently ranked in the bottom third for road and bridge conditions. The tax increase is one of 8 ideas for increasing the funding for road repairs that was talked about last year. Former Washington County Engineer David Patterson says the county could use the extra funds because road funding has always been limited here. One of the other proposals is to increase the cost of registering agricultural equipment, because they cause some road damage and pay none of the road repair fees normal drivers pay.
Many people also believe they cause more road damage than other vehicles. Patterson says although farm vehicles do damage roads, it is not their fault. The roads are used differently from when they were built 50 years ago. There is increased traffic and heavier vehicles. Another proposal is to increase the registration fees for electric and hybrid vehicles, because they use less gas and therefore pay less for road repairs. The last gas tax increase was in 1989.