Update: Branstad Drops Gas Tax Hike Proposal

By: The Associated Press Email
By: The Associated Press Email

Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad has taken an increase in the state's gasoline tax off the table, rejecting a recommendation by a commission he appointed.

In a statement released Wednesday, Branstad says he will press state of nearly transportation officials to find administrative savings $50 million over the next year. He says that those savings must be found before increasing the gasoline tax.

The governor acknowledges studies have shown that more money is needed for the state's highways, but he says efficiencies must come first.

Legislative leaders say Branstad's position will make it difficult for lawmakers to consider increased gasoline taxes during the upcoming legislative session.

The governor's Transportation 2020 Citizen Advisory Commission has recommended raising the state's gas tax between eight and 10 cents a gallon. The current figures are 21 cents a gallon for regular gas and 19 cents a gallon for ethanol.

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