Hoosiers recently discovered that the $3.8 billion that Indiana netted in 2006 from leasing the Indiana Toll Road to a foreign consortium will be mostly spent or allocated by the time the state’s next governor takes office in January. The current administration had promised that the money from the long-term lease would pay for hundreds of projects that now face uncertain prospects.
As the crossroads of America, Indiana is a network of great cities, towns, and landscapes. The Indiana Democratic Party’s vision for our state is one that links this network in a way that ties together the assets of our state. We must:
• Ensure we are getting our tax dollars’ worth when it comes to transportation funding. Indiana currently receives just 92% of what we send the federal government. We need to increase the rate of return on our tax dollars so the State of Indiana and local governments across our state have the tools they need to keep roads and bridges in shape to lure businesses to communities in Indiana.
• Ensure that our infrastructure portfolio includes ongoing road projects, improved rail service, multi-modal
port development, public transportation and access to modern information technology.
• Become a leader in farmland preservation, air quality improvement, and economic growth. We will achieve this with an eye on Indiana’s long term future, environmental sustainability and the growth and prosperity of Indiana for generations to come, not one brokered with the promise of foreign investment.
• Repeal the state sales tax on gasoline, a routine purchase as necessary for most Hoosier families as food and medicine. With gas prices at record highs, working families are pressed further and further each day to make difficult choices. According to a recent study, families spend about as much on transportation costs as on housing. A family should not have to choose between essential needs and gas for the vehicle. However, these are choices that working Hoosiers are making today, and we must work harder to give people viable alternatives to the gas pump.