Iowa has a few transportation funding bills currently under consideration, and this new hybrid gas tax bill could be gaining traction. Iowa House Study Bill 661 would decrease the gasoline tax from 21-cents-per-gallon to 16-cents-per-gallon and would also create a new 5 percent wholesale tax on motor fuels. If implemented, this plan could raise an extra $230 million each year.
Proponents of the bill include the Iowa Good Roads Association, the Associated General Contractors, and the Iowa Corn Growers Association. Opponents of the bill include tea party advocates, Iowans for Tax Relief, Truckstops of Iowa, and the Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Stores of Iowa.
Although the 2014 legislative session is likely to end in April, some grassroots organizations are taking action to advance a state gas tax proposal. Scott Newhard, the executive vice president of the Associated General Contractors, said “I think you are going to see a considerable number of grass-roots groups in town talking about the implications of the hybrid approach.” Representative Josh Byrnes (R-Osage)—the House Transportation Committee Chairman— also remains optimistic about the fate of HSB 661 and said, “I would say if anything passes, it is going to be the hybrid tax plan…it is not going to be the long-term flat tax. This is more of a long-term fix.”