That Indiana Department of Transportation is short of money. What to do?
Senate Appropriations Chairman Luke Kenley, R-Noblesville, told the Indianapolis Business Journal that maybe we should raise taxes.
Kenly said that we might want to raise the license plate tax from $20 to $50 per car to pay for new road projects and maintenance.
With about 6 million vehicles in Indiana, that would raise $120 million to $300 million.
Kenley said the new license plate revenue could be used to start planning expansions of Interstates 65 and 70 and to revive plans for the Indiana Commerce Connector that would loop around Indianapolis' eastern and southern suburbs, from Interstate 69 to the Indianapolis International Airport.
He wants to expand I-65 and I-70 to six lanes across the state, with the third and sixth lanes possibly dedicated to truck traffic.
INDOT now funds highway projects and maintenance from 18-cent-per-gallon taxes on gas, diesel and some other fuel, but revenues have fallen with the growing popularity of fuel-efficient cars and trucks. No taxes come from powering vehicles with electricity and natural gas.