Officials Lobby for Iowa Gas Tax Increase Today

Dozens of county officials from around the state are at the capitol in Des Moines today, lobbying legislators on issues — like the gas tax.

Carl Mattes of Humboldt, a member of the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors, supports an increase in the state gas tax….

“We’re going to have to do something or our bridges and roads are going to fall apart. We need to kick and scream until we get something done — some kind of financing.”

Mattes faults the governor for failing to “step up” and call on legislators to pass a gas tax increase.

“Some of these hard surface roads may have to go back to gravel. We just can’t maintain those and fix bridges at the same time, so something’s got to give if we don’t get more money somehow.”

The last time the gas tax was raised was in 1989, but Governor Branstad says public opinion is against raising it in 2014.

This fall Branstad’s D-O-T director came up with a variety of transportation-related fee increases to try to raise more money for roads and bridges, but none of those proposals have advanced in the legislature.