Panel backs increase in taxes, fees for road work

ANKENY, Iowa (AP) — A special committee recommends increasing Iowa’s gasoline tax by 8 cents to 10 cents per gallon and raising an extra $50 million from registration fees for new vehicles to pay for road repairs.

That plan could raise up to $280 million annually to fund repairs to Iowa’s road system. Backers say for more money is needed but that such a funding level would let officials fix the worst roads.

The panel, named by Gov. Terry Branstad, also recommended Wednesday that gasoline taxes should be reviewed every two years. The gasoline tax has not been increased since 1989.

The state collects 22 cents per gallon in gasoline taxes. Of that, 21 cents pays for road work. The other penny pays for cleaning leaking underground tanks.