What the fuel tax pays for that other sources don't - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

What the fuel tax pays for that other sources don't

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TAMA COUNTY (KWWL) - Across Iowa you'll find bridges in need of repair, waiting for money to cover the costs.

"The increase in the fuel tax has increased the amount of money coming to us," said Lyle Brehm, Tama County Engineer.

A few years ago a bridge on Highway 30 in Tama County was rated as one of the worst state-maintained bridges in Iowa. The bridge has corrosion underneath, concrete is deteriorated, and the pavement up top isn't in perfect shape, either. But fixing the bridge will have to wait now that Tama County is in charge of it -- because they have other bridges in worse shape.

"This is not one of the worst bridges that the county maintains," said Brehm.

A lot of you have reached out to us and said that you thought the money from the casino industry and the Iowa Lottery was supposed to be fixing roads and bridges. So we looked into where that money goes.

When it comes to the Iowa Lottery, most of that money goes into the state's general fund, which does not get used for highway projects. 

And casinos, some of that money does eventually go to the Iowa Department of Transportation but for transit, air, trail, and railroad programs -- not roads and bridges. 

That's why engineers say the gas tax is so important.

"It is going to make a difference on getting our roads taken care of," said Brehm.

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