- Associated Press - Wednesday, March 11, 2015

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - A proposal to raise Nebraska’s gas tax to pay for bridges and roads has advanced for debate by lawmakers.

The Revenue Committee voted 5-2 on Wednesday to approve the measure for debate in the Legislature. The 6-cent increase, phased in over four years, would bring Nebraska’s total gas tax to 31.6 cents per gallon.

The bill would generate an estimated $19 million a year for aging roads and bridges. Sen. Jim Smith of Papillion describes the tax as a “user fee” for motorists, saying it’s a better alternative than tapping the state’s general fund or issuing bonds.

Smith says the bill will reduce pressure on counties that use property taxes to pay for bridge and road repairs.

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The bill is LB610

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