A report released from a special Idaho task force on transportation said the state must be willing to raise $543 million to pay for infrastructure improvements. The imposition of new fees and levies on gasoline, auto and trucking registrations, and car rentals were among the possible methods identified. A one-cent fuel tax was one of the most politically significant possibilities put forward.
The chairman of the task force, Lieutenant Governor Brad Little, told Bloomberg Businessweek the process had outlined the way forward for Idaho's roads.
"I think we've come up with a road map, I think we've acknowledged how difficult it's going to be," he said.
Businessweek also reported the task force had identified a need for $262 million at the state Department of Transportation and local highway districts for preservation and restoration of roads, along with $281 for "safety and other improvements," the news agency said.
However, the task force did not endorse any specific course of action, according to the Spokane Spokesman-Review, and one member voted against the final draft of its report.
"I wanted the task force to come up with specific recommendations to fund enhancements for the Department of Transportation – we didn't do it. I think that we chose a cautious way out," House tax chairman Dennis Lake told the newspaper, adding that he would have preferred to see more definitive guidance given to the state legislature.
Rather, the Spokesman-Review reported, the group provided a series of recommendations and suggestions, instead of more concrete proposals.
Car insurance customers in Idaho should be aware of any further developments on this legislative front, since it could significantly impact their premium rates, experts say.