Last week the U.S. House of Representatives passed a short-term highway funding bill, which would inject about eleven billion dollars into the Highway Trust Fund. The fund is supported by the federal gas tax, but is on the road to insolvency in August. This week, the Senate will deliberate on its own solution to the problem.
For rural America, the highway infrastructure is in essence a central nervous system, and the Soy Transportation Coalition, based in Ankeny, wants a longer-term fix.
Earlier this month, STC released its full report on indexing state and federal gas taxes to inflation. Executive Director Mike Steenhoek explains that doing so would, over time, meet the rising cost of road maintenance, but also says politicians would probably not find such an approach palatable without a concession for voters, such as immediately reducing the 18.3-cent gas tax by a single
The study found that, in 2025, annual tax revenue to the federal government would be about $6 billion higher than current projections under the Soy Transportation Coalition proposal. In Iowa specifically, that figure is about $91 million in additional funds.