The Association of Idaho Cities is requesting the legislature invest an additional $200 million annually to improve and maintain the state's roads and bridges.
The association endorsed a resolution calling on the legislature to raise the state's fuel tax, vehicle registration and other fees to meet the growing demand on Idaho's transportation system. The resolution passed this month at the association's statewide conference in Coeur d'Alene.
The cities of Pocatello and Meridian and the Meridian Transportation Task Force endorsed similar resolutions earlier this year.
In its resolution, the association noted that:
" Idaho's transportation revenue is not keeping pace with the state's tremendous growth," ITD Director Pam Lowe said in a presentation at the association's annual meeting. "Revenue to the state's general fund has increased 75 percent since 1998, but funding for transportation has remained flat."
Many people don't realize that Idaho's fuel tax of 25 cents per gallon does not increase with the rising prices, Lowe noted. In 1996, when the fuel tax was last raised in Idaho, gas cost approximately $1.30 a gallon.
Idaho's highway and road system have 60,000 miles of roads and 4,000 bridges. More than 300 miles of roads are added annually.
Funding for Idaho's surface transportation system needs over the next 30 years will be $20 billion short, or more than an additional $200 million annually according to a report from the Forum on Transportation Investment, an independent group charged with recommending options for funding improvements to Idaho's transportation system.
The forum conducted 14 statewide meetings in 2005-06 gathering ideas on transportation funding.
"We appreciate the association's resolution and its assistance in our effort to explain the transportation needs of the state and discuss how we can best address them," Lowe said."