An in-depth interim summer study committee on road funding (called FIRSST) held its second meeting last week. This was an input session that focused on how Indiana’s road conditions and funding compare to other states.
There were several informative presentations from several different groups including Conexus and the National Conference of State Legislatures. Points of interest from the discussion:
- For the U.S., average funding sources for highways and transit are 25% federal, 40% state and 35% local.
- Indiana’s deficient roads cost $391 per motorist per year. This includes flat tires, bent rims and other costs.
- Some 16% or 9,965 miles of Indiana’s roads are considered in poor condition; that ranks us third among six Midwestern states.
- A total of 10.2% or 1,944 Indiana bridges are considered deficient in quality; that ranks us second among six Midwestern states.
- Investment in road infrastructure is declining, even when adjusted for inflation.
- There are 54 potential funding sources for road funding ranging from fuel taxes to parking meters.
- Fuel taxes have not kept up with the infrastructure needs. Automobiles are more fuel efficient and inflation has been eating away the buying power of gas taxes. Indiana last raised its gas tax in 2003 and it is not indexed for inflation.
- As electric cars become more popular, very few states – including Indiana – impose fees for their use of roads. Of the 10 states that do, the fee ranges from $47.50-$200 per year.
- Of the 50 states, 36 – Indiana among them – have toll roads.
The Indiana Chamber will continue to encourage the development and implementation of fiscal systems to support the array of transportation infrastructure projects critical to economic growth. The next FIRSST meeting is scheduled for September 29.