Letter: ‘User fee’ tag not fooling anyone … it’s a tax increase

From: Dustin Renner


The Republicans of the Indiana General Assembly are attempting, for a second year, to increase the Indiana gas tax. To avoid labeling this effort as a tax increase, a more friendly “user fee” term is being applied. Please do not be fooled, as this is only a smoke-and-mirrors effort to increase the gas tax by 10 cents per gallon along with increasing vehicle registration fees by up to $15; it would be $150 if you own an electric vehicle.

Currently, only 15 percent of the state gas tax is allocated to infrastructure. Why is 100 percent of this tax not allocated for infrastructure? Secondly, the state has over $2 billion in budget reserves. Taking money away from the reserves to pay for infrastructure would still leave over $1 billion in reserves. A freeze on state hiring should be explored as well.

Meanwhile, a bill was recently scrapped that would have increased pay, by at least $20,000 per elected official, for all statewide officeholders at the Statehouse, but our legislators claim that the state does not have money for infrastructure improvements.

Our legislators in Indianapolis are lazily pursuing a tax increase rather than attempting to find common-sense oriented solutions of cutting spending and/or reallocating tax revenue for infrastructure. I am saddened to see the Republican Party deviating from the core values of cutting spending and lowering taxes. I hope that you will join me in telling our legislators that we oppose any new tax increases.