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Iowa panel OKs fuel tax increase but effort may stall

A House subcommittee backed the bill Wednesday and it will move to the full Transportation Committee.

The Associated Press

1/30/2014

DES MOINES, Iowa — A proposal to raise Iowa's fuel taxes has won preliminary approval from lawmakers in the Iowa House, but it is not clear if the measure can garner wider approval in the Legislature or from the governor.

A House subcommittee backed the bill Wednesday and it will move to the full Transportation Committee. Under the proposal, fuel taxes would gradually rise by 10 cents a gallon, raising about $215 million annually for infrastructure expenses.

Rep. Joshua Byrnes, a Republican from Osage, says the state badly needs this funding to repair deteriorating bridges and roads. Similar proposals have failed to advance in past years.

Republican Gov. Terry Branstad declined to endorse or oppose the legislation. He says he wants to look at a variety of options to fund road repairs.

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