Will Indiana's gas tax hike pave your roads?

Hamilton County is the fastest growing county in Indiana, but it's slated to receive less money per person than nearly every other county in the state's recently released five-year roads construction plan.

Every Hoosier has to pay the new 10-cent gas tax increase in order to help fund the $4.7 billion roads plan, but not every county will see the same benefit.

Statewide, the plan will amount to about $480 per person in spending over the next five years. That calculation doesn't include the portion of the $4.7 billion dedicated for uses beyond direct road maintenance and construction, such as for traffic lights or cable barriers.

In Hamilton County, the state only has plans to spend about $80 per person. Only Monroe County will receive less, at $72 per person.

Morgan County — home to Martinsville and Mooresville — will by far receive the most road funding per capita at about $4,115 per person.

Marion County sits in the bottom 20 of Indiana's 92 counties in terms of spending per person. When looking at total spending per county, however, Marion County received the second most, just after Morgan County. Johnson and Hendricks also grace the top five in overall spending per county.

Scott Manning, an Indiana Department of Transportation spokesman, said it's important to keep in mind that those figures don't include recent road investments in many counties.

"INDOT's investment on a per county basis is driven by the number of centerline miles of INDOT maintained roads in a given county and the condition ratings of the existing roads and bridges," Manning said. "Population is not part of the formula."

He said a comprehensive list of the number of miles per county does not exist.

In Hamilton County, INDOT has spent $472 million over the past five years and only has six miles of lanes the state has labeled as in poor condition.

Both Hamilton County Commissioner Mark Heirbrandt and Fishers Mayor Scott Fadness said the county has been fortunate in recent years, pointing to projects such as the added travel lanes on I-69 and the $100 million spent on Ind. 37 improvements.

"I understand we’re not the only county in the state," Heirbrandt said. "I don't want to be greedy. They know we're here and they know what our needs are."

The additional money for road maintenance is the result of a new funding package lawmakers passed earlier this year. It raises the gas tax 10 cents a gallon and increases Bureau of Motor Vehicle fees.

Gov. Eric Holcomb and INDOT Commissioner Joe McGuinness announced this past week how and where the first wave of that money would be spent.

The state also dedicated $342 million annually for local road projects.

"The Next Level plan will impact all corners of our state with much-needed reinvestment of infrastructure," Fadness said. "That's something we should all champion." 

Call IndyStar reporter Kaitlin Lange at (317) 432-9270. Follow her on Twitter: @kaitlin_lange.

Call IndyStar reporter Tony Cook at (317) 444-6081. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook.

INDYSTAR.com


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