the following article was written by Representative Ted Gassman and does not reflect the views and opinions of KIOW, staff, or management.
There has been a great deal of discussion and lobbying about a fuel tax increase. A fuel tax increase would be constitutionally protected to be used for roads. There is a formula that breaks down where those funds would be spent. Some would go to cities, some to the county, and some to the state based on a fixed percentage.
Many people like the idea of a fuel tax as it is a user fee. Those that use the roads pay for the construction and repair, along with snow removal. The problem with that thinking is it consistently gets more out of balance as more cars are using some kind of electric motors.
I realize a new tax of this nature is not easy to accept. Those that drive a distance to work would have an additional burden. However our roads and bridges are in need of repair from the information that I have.
Another aspect of the fuel tax is the concern of increasing taxes. If we increase the fuel tax by 10 cents we would be one of the higher in the mid-west. A 10 cent increase is about a 50% increase in that tax. Governor Branstad is not an advocate of improving our roads and bridges strictly with a fuel tax.
I write this column in hopes that some feedback will be forthcoming. I would like to see at least part of an increase from somewhere other than a fuel tax. What do you think?
Another question as of late is the price of LP. There is a federal program known as LIHEAP. This is a Low Income Heating Program funded by the Federal Government. You can check into this program. As far as I know the program is fully funded. I will continue to look into why this happened and make any changes that we can at the state level.