More momentum for gas tax hike - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

More momentum for gas tax hike

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 A proposed hike in Iowa's fuel tax bypasses a roadblock.

A Senate panel gave preliminary approval to the bill that would raise the tax by 10 cents to pay for road improvements. The hike would provide about $215 million a year.

Similar proposals have failed to move forward in recent years, but Governor Terry Branstad and other legislative leaders have been more vocal this year about raising money for infrastructure needs.

Iowa's fuel tax is now 22 cents a gallon. It hasn't been raised since 1989.

As Iowa lawmakers continue to work on the proposal, we're asking what happened to the money they got from new registration fees.

In 2009, Iowa created a new fee system for vehicle registrations, so many of you are paying more. Those new fees have brought in almost $600 million in six years.

KWWL wanted to know where that money has been spent. The DOT says there's no comprehensive list showing which specific projects have been paid for with the money, but we do know what comes in every year goes out. The DOT also says the demand for road funding far outstretches what it has. In 2008, a year before new vehicle registration fees took effect, a study showed the shortfall to cover critical road projects was $267 million.

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