Put the Brakes on the Gas Tax Increase

A procession of special interest groups descended on the Iowa House last week, demanding more of your money to pay for their projects.

It should come as no surprise that a House Transportation subcommittee voted 5-0 to give it to them.

Apparently, the 20 cents in state taxes you already pay for every gallon of gasoline you buy isn’t enough. Politicians in Des Moines want you to pay 50% more.

House Study Bill 514 (HSB 514) will soon be considered by the full House Transportation Committee, chaired by Representative Josh Byrnes, the person responsible for this bill.

It’s urgent that you contact the committee members immediately!

See below for a list of House Transportation Committee Members.

The tax-and-spenders claim the revenue is urgently needed to address an annual $215 million shortfall in fixing and maintaining Iowa’s deteriorating roads and bridges, particularly in rural areas.

The state of Iowa has done a poor job of maintaining its infrastructure, but don’t be deceived.

60% of the new revenue from an increase in the gas tax would go to the state, not to the counties.

In fact, the new revenue wouldn’t be directed into the current Road Use Tax Fund at all, contrary to what most people believe.

The new revenue would be diverted into a new fund, with a new distribution formula.

Currently, the gas tax revenue being collected goes into the Road Use Tax Fund (RUTF) - 47.5% of the money goes to the state, 32.5% goes to the counties, and 20% goes to cities.

Under this new formula, 60% of new revenue would go to the state, only 20% to counties, and 20% to cities.

If deteriorating roads and bridges in rural Iowa are the reason for this increase, why is so much of the money going to the state and not to the counties?

Infrastructure improvements are good for the economy, but one of the leading industries in Iowa is agriculture.

With so much of the new revenue going to the state and not to counties to repair rural roads and bridges, why are special interest groups such as Farm Bureau, the Iowa Corn Growers, the Iowa Soybean Association, the Iowa Bankers Association...all in favor of an increase in the gas tax?

When Iowans see the state budget increase year-after-year under Governor Branstad, why is the only solution to raise taxes?

The Governor just proposed the largest budget in Iowa history -- a total of $7 billion. This is an increase of $500 million.

Not one penny of that is devoted to repairs for deteriorating roads and bridges.

Infrastructure is a major responsibility of government. The money is available, but politicians would rather squander it elsewhere.

We simply need to fund infrastructure first -- from existing revenues.

There are other proposals to do just that.

Despite the Governor’s bloated budget, there’s still a projected budget surplus of $723 million, in addition to the existing state surplus of almost $900 million.

Please contact the members of the Iowa House Transportation Committee and tell them you don’t support an increase in the Gas Tax . . .

. . .especially not at a time when the state of Iowa is sitting on a surplus of almost $900 million and when the Governor is proposing a record amount of spending.

We don’t have a revenue problem. We have a spending problem.

Tell them it doesn’t make any sense for drivers in rural Iowa to pay for improvements in Des Moines or Cedar Rapids on roads they never use, or vice-versa.

Capitol phone: 515-281-3221

Transportation Committee Members:

Please contact the members of the House Transportation Committee TODAY!!!

As Ronald Reagan once said, “When you can’t make them see the light, make them feel the heat.”

In Liberty,

Dusty Juhl
Iowa State Coordinator
Campaign for Liberty

P.S. Right now is the best chance to kill a Gas Tax increase this year. If it passes the House Transportation Committee, this fight could last until the end of the session!

It’s urgent that you contact the committee members immediately!

See above for a list of House Transportation Committee Members.

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