Gas tax hike moves ahead in state senate - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Gas tax hike moves ahead in state senate

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) -- State lawmakers are moving ahead with a plan to boost the state's gasoline tax by eight cents a gallon over a two-year stretch, despite opposition from Gov. Chet Culver.

State Sen. Tom Rielly says a Senate panel began crafting the gas tax hike Monday.

Culver has said he opposes an increase to the gas tax, and made the point again on Monday. Culver says his plan to borrow $700 million to pay for flood damage and state infrastructure will save poor and middle-class Iowans the sting of higher gas prices.

But Rielly says a $700 million package wouldn't come close to meeting the $5.3 billion infrastructure bill that some studies say the state is facing.

An eight-cent increase in the gas tax would bring in about $168 million a year.

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