- Associated Press - Wednesday, March 25, 2015

BOISE, Idaho (AP) - House Republicans are introducing an eleventh-hour patchwork plan to raise more than $100 million for Idaho roads.

Three bills split over two House committees were approved Wednesday morning - including increases in fuel taxes and registration fees, as well as up to $26 million in general-fund dollars.

Idaho lawmakers have been unable to move a comprehensive transportation funding bill in the face of the state’s $262 million annual shortfall this legislative session. One proposal that would have provided up to $100 million in new transportation revenue survived a House panel. But legislative leaders fear it would die in the Senate, and they say it will not get a vote on the House floor.

House Majority Leader Mike Moyle said that he hopes breaking up the plan into three pieces will let lawmakers approve at least some of the parts.

The following is a quick breakdown of what all three proposals call for:00


One out of the three proposals call for bumping vehicle-registration fees by $15 and hiking motorcycle fees by $6. This means that a two-year old car’s registration would cost $63. This would raise about $20 million each year in new transportation funding.


Another piece of the plan would pull $10 million from the rainy-day account to use for roads if the general fund grows at least 4 percent. The bills would also move roughly $16 million in fuel-tax revenue to pay for roads instead of the state police. Lawmakers would then likely have to pay for the state police out of the general fund, costing another $16 million in general fund dollars.


Fuels like gasoline and diesel would see a seven-cent tax increase - from 25 cents to 32 cents per gallon. Doing so would generate $42.5 million in its first year starting on Oct. 1. In the following full year, the $65 million generated would be split between state and local highway funds.


Republican legislative leaders have long called for the removal of the tax on groceries, as well as erasing the grocery tax credit. One of the proposals would do away with both. The same proposal would also consolidate higher individual income tax brackets to reduce them to a 6.7 percent rate. It doesn’t funnel any money to roads. However, by pairing them with the gas-tax hike, it may help swing conservative lawmakers hesitant to vote in increasing taxes.

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