Gas prices are at a high for this time of the year all over the country, with increases up to 25 cents a gallon. But the price of gas could see another increase, because lawmakers in Iowa are looking at increasing the gas tax eight to ten cents a gallon over two years.
The House has proposed an eight cent increase, the senate a ten cent increase. County Engineer Jacob Thorius has been pushing for an increase in the gas tax, which hasn’t been raised since 1989, in an effort to increase funding for Washington County’s roads and bridges. But Senator Sandy Greiner and Representative Jarad Klein disagree. They don’t think the funding would ever get to Washington County and would instead go to Iowa’s more urban areas. Thorius explains that if there were a gas tax increase, the distribution of road repair funding would change, dependent on the road repair funding reaching over $225 million dollars. Thorius says based on the predicted funds raised, we would hit that level and Washington County would receive an increase in road repair funding of $165,000 in 2013, a $402,000 increase in 2014, and a $621,000 increase in 2015. Representative Klein is still hesitant, saying he doesn’t have the information to know if the road repair funding would hit the $225 million dollar limit. KCII will continue to follow this issue.