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Sales tax returns for roads total 0 – 84 miles in county chipped

August 2, 2012

    The Adams County Highway Department finished applying chip-n-seal to county roads last week, according to Superintendent Mark Mitchel.
    Mitchel told the Adams County Commissioners Monday the department covered approximately 83 miles of roadway this year.
    "That's the most we've done in a long time," said Mitchel. "Some of those roads haven't been done for nine or ten years."
    Chairman Doug Bauman stated that commissioners and mayors of larger cities in northeast Indiana meet once a month as a type of caucus to discuss various happenings in the state.
    During a recent meeting, Bauman said the issue of road and street reimbursement that counties receive from the state came up.
    Bauman said that Indiana's tax on gasoline is 57.3 cents per gallon, with 18.4 cents going to the federal government, Indiana receiving 18 cents, and the rest being a seven percent sales tax.
    None of the revenue generated by sales tax, approximately $550 million yearly based on $3 per gallon fuel, comes back to roads or streets, Bauman said.
    "The concern that caucus members have at this point in time," said Bauman, "is that there's $144 million out of the state gas tax that's diverted from our roads and bridges to the State Police, IDEM, (Indiana Department of Environmental Management)  and the BMV (Bureau of Motor Vehicles)."
    Bauman said members of the caucus are "trying to strongly recommend that our Legislatures find $144 million out of sales tax or somewhere else, and let that distribution of $144 million come back to our roads and streets."
    Whether or not this will happen remains to be seen, but Bauman said the first step is in raising the question, adding that "we'll keep working on them."

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