ROADS/BRIDGES: Iowa not ready to commit to new funding mechanism

Nine options are being discussed, but DOT chief still surveying politicians, business owners

News Sioux City Journal November 13, 2013
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The Iowa DOT transportation director likes what he hears, but he’s not ready to put the money where his mouth is.


Paul Trombino travelled throughout the state of Iowa recently to meet with politicians, farmers, business leaders and anyone else who would listen about ideas on how to raise more revenue for transportation projects. Gov. Terry Branstad wanted to see a number of different options, and as of Nov. 12 Trombino was not ready to put his initials alongside any particular plan—yet. Meanwhile, Iowa continues to try to manage its road and bridge network despite a repair backlog that currently stands at $215 million a year.


“Overall, I think the discussions have been very positive,” Trombino said. “I’m not making any predictions yet.”


Some of the funding ideas the Iowa DOT Transportation Commission put together are:


  • Increasing the fee for new vehicle registration from 5% to 6%;
  • Applying state excise tax on dyed fuel sales;
  • Increasing the oversize/overweight vehicle permit fees;
  • Eliminating the per-gallon fuel tax and replacing it with a state excise tax on fuel that will bring a 6% sales tax on a wholesale level.
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