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December 2013 Policy Study, Number 13-10


Fuel Tax:  What Is a Fair System for Iowa?





For the past several years we have repeatedly been told that the state faces a $215 million shortfall in funding to address the state’s most critical roadways.[8] Along with this stark number we have also heard that 27 percent of Iowa’s “bridges are in need of repair, improvement, or replacement.”[9] Of the 27 percent, 22 percent of Iowa’s bridges “are structurally deficient and five percent are functionally obsolete.”[10]


The author of this POLICY STUDY isn’t going to argue that Iowa’s infrastructure isn’t in need of repair, but will address how we are going to pay for these needed repairs. Currently, Iowa is still trying to climb our way out of the recession. We are currently seeing slow positive changes in our economy, but if we go down the road that the Iowa Farm Bureau and Iowa League of Cities would have us, we would all see an increase in our taxes with the cost of filling our car up at the pump.


Iowa taxpayers are just finally seeing some relief at the pumps when they are buying gas or diesel, but there is no guarantee that those prices will continue to stay low as we head into the new year, and the last thing the Iowa Legislature should do is increase the tax burden on the people of Iowa. We need to continue to find different ways to address this problem. Working to have a sound infrastructure is important to Iowa and to the economy of Iowa. We just need to figure out the best way to pay for our needs.




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