Truck drivers who frequent I-90 and combined I-80 across Indiana, also known as the Indiana Toll Road, are likely to soon see a significant increase in tolls to raise funds for infrastructure projects in the state.
Gov. Eric Holcomb Tuesday announced a 35 percent increase on tolls for Class 3 and above trucks using the Indiana Toll Road, effective Oct. 5. A statement from Holcomb said the cash generated by the increase will be used to pay for a laundry list of infrastructure items. Holcomb expects the toll increase to generate $1 billion for the state.
The Indiana Finance Authority will vote Sept. 20 on whether to amend its contract with the Indiana Toll Road Concession Company, the private firm that operates the toll road, in order to raise the toll rates. Under the new agreement, the ITRCC would invest $50 million in upgrades to the toll road.
With the increase, tolls for Class 8 trucks traveling across the entirety of the state would jump from $44.50 to $60.07 with cash, or from $44.46 to $60.02 with E-ZPass. The Indiana Toll Road spans about 157 miles between the Ohio Turnpike and Chicago Skyway.
In a post on its Facebook page shortly after Holcomb’s announcement, the Indiana Motor Truck Association said “… this tax increase will be used for railroads, airports, ship ports, walking trails, bike paths, broadband … certainly not the things you would expect tax increases imposed directly on the trucking industry to be used for.”
IMTA President Gary Langston said he and the association were taken by surprise by the announcement. The governor’s office called to alert the association just an hour before the actual announcement.
The American Trucking Associations weighed in against the toll increase.
“This is just another example of how toll roads – particularly privatized ones – are bad for our economy and discriminate against the trucking industry,” said ATA Vice President of Highway Policy Darrin Roth in a statement Tuesday. “The state of Indiana and their private capital partners are using trucking as a piggy bank to fund all sorts of pork projects and subsidize many projects of no benefit to toll payers.”