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Tama County Supervisors endorse gas tax hike

February 24, 2014
By Joyce Wiese - News-Herald Correspondent , Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

Tama County Supervisors approved a resolution on Tuesday, Feb. 18, endorsing the statement of the Iowa Association of County Supervisors calling for a raise in state fuel taxes.: Recognizing a high quality transportation system serves the artery for economic activity and the condition of the infrastructure in the State of low and is a key element for future economic growth.

An integral part of the State of Iowa's Road Use Tax Fund (RUTF) is the fuel tax. The fuel tax has not been significantly increased since 1989. During this time maintenance and construction costs have more than doubled during the same time frame.

There have been several state-wide studies completed over the past ten years identifying the requirement to significantly increase the amount of funding for the administration, maintenance and improvements to our state wide public roadway system, including the 2006 Road Use Tax Fund study completed

Article Photos

Tama County Supervisors (l-r) Larry Vest, 1st District, Kendall Jordan, 2nd District and Dan Anderson, 3rd District, meet on Tuesday, Feb. 18.
News-Herald/John Speer

Study called for by former Governor Culver, the 2011 Road Use Tax Fund study completed per 2011 Iowa Code Section 307.31, and the Governor's Transportation 2020 Citizen Advisory Commission created by Governor Branstad.

The 2008 TIME21 study documented the fact that under today's funding structure and highway usage, over 20 percent of the travel done in Iowa is by out-of-state drivers, while only 13 percent of the state's road use revenues come from out of state drivers.

The funding provided by the implementation of TIME-21 Fund in 2009 is inadequate to meet the critical maintenance and improvements needs for the State of Iowa's transportation system. 95 percent of Road Use Tax Fund revenues are required by the Iowa Constitution to be spent only on our roadways.

Due to the severe shortage in state funding to meet the critical needs of our roadway system, several Iowa counties have had to resort to issuing almost $100 million in bonds to pay for their most critical maintenance needs, which will have to be paid off through property taxes.

The 2011 Governor's Transportation 2020 Citizen Advisory Council report to Governor Branstad and the Iowa Legislature identified the need for $215 million per year of increased funding over the next twenty years, in addition to the funding being provided by the TIME -21 revenues, just to meet the most critical needs of our transportation infrastructure.

The Iowa Roads Association, the Iowa County Engineer's Association, and numerous business related associations throughout Iowa have publically supported the call for increased Road Use Tax Funding. Therefore, the Iowa State Association of County Supervisors and the Tama County Board of

Supervisors strongly encourage the implementation of the 2011 Citizen's Advisory Council's recommendation to increase the state fuel tax rates across the board by ten cents, over a period of no less than three years, resulting in an estimated $184 million to $230,000 of additional annual revenue.

Also recommended is an increase the Fee for New Registration from five percent to six percent, raising the fee to a level consistent with the states sale tax, resulting in an estimated $50 million of additional annual revenue, and allocate new funding to go to the TIME-21 Fund up to the cap of $225 million and the remaining new funding should be distributed consistent with the Road Use Tax Fund distribution formula.

The Iowa State Association of County Supervisors and the Tama County Board of Supervisors support the ongoing evaluation of creative, supplemental solutions to increased to Road Use Tax Funding.

In other business the supervisors:

-set Monday, March 10, 2014 for a Budget Amendment Hearing. This will be at ten o'clock in the Tama County Supervisors room.

-Supervisor Larry Vest made the motion to appoint Sandra Whannel, Traer, to the Tama County Board of Health. Sandra will replace Shawn Overton whose term would expire Dec. 31, 2014.

-Michelle Yuska, County Treasurer, asked supervisors to approve a Tax Sale Re-Assignment to Jodi Phillip. This is property at 700 Station Street in Chelsea. This will be a cost of $600 plus a $10 reassignment fee.

Claims for the past week approved for payment totaled $193,182.



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