Monday, June 9, 2003

Falling revenue could cut paving



The Associated Press

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Some Indiana counties might pave fewer roads this summer as the state sees less revenue from the fuel tax.

The so-called gas tax generates most of the money state officials divide among cities and counties for local road repair.

A 3-cent increase to the state fuel tax became effective in January. State lawmakers dedicated one-third of that increase to local governments.

But one penny does not go far enough, said Dennis Falkenberg, a former Indiana Department of Transportation official now working with the Build Indiana Council.

"That's great and that's nice and we appreciate that, but one penny is about $30 million, and by the time you divide that up among 500 entities, it doesn't make up for the money they lost at the state and federal levels," Falkenberg said.

Judy Rhodes, clerk-treasurer in West Lafayette, said those cuts could eventually reach street level in her city.

"I am concerned that we are going to start to see streets eliminated from the resurfacing schedule if funding reductions continue over several years," she said.

The Tippecanoe County Council may vote on a local wheel tax proposal at a meeting this week.




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