Bauer condemns yet another tax increase

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INDIANAPOLIS — State Rep. B. Patrick Bauer (D-South Bend) today issued the following statement in reaction to Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb’s proposal to raise funding through another increase in toll road rates:

“Gov. Holcomb is proposing yet another tax increase for vehicles traveling the Indiana Toll Road, this time in the form of a hike of more than 30 percent on commercial trucks. That rate jump will negatively impact consumers through cost increases to products hauled by trucks, including food, clothing, and many of the everyday items each of us use.

“Make no mistake, these huge increases will eventually be passed along to consumers. Taxing one industry that uses the toll road in northern Indiana in order to support the various needs of other parts of the state is ridiculous.

“This new rate hike comes on top of the 10-cent gasoline tax increase passed by the Republicans last year. Another penny was added in July of this year and another penny will be added again next year…and so on and so on.

“In addition, the GOP increased vehicle registration fees by $15. There was a $50 fee imposed upon hybrids and $150 fee on electric cars added as well in that bill. It seems there is no tax increase the Republicans don’t like.

“Of the money raised by this new tax increase in the form of toll road hikes on commercial vehicles, $600 million will be used to complete the I-69 section of highway between Martinsville and Indianapolis, which is far from where the tax is going to be collected.

“Another chunk – around $20 million — will be used to establish additional international non-stop flights to and from Indianapolis, which largely benefit corporations based in Central Indiana.

“It is time that Gov. Holcomb and his Republican majorities learn to live within their means and stop increasing taxes every year on Hoosiers and Indiana businesses, like those in the trucking industry and those who depend upon the trucking industry.

“The other thing that is bothersome is that the Holcomb administration will not say how much additional revenue the private company running the toll road will make off this rate hike. For a governor who prides himself on transparency, he is intentionally muddying the water by not coming clean on the details of this proposal.”

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