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As gas prices soar, Hoosiers wonder where gas tax dollars are going

Posted at 10:54 PM, May 17, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-18 06:23:38-04

INDIANAPOLIS — Everywhere you look in central Indiana, gas prices are more than $4.50 per gallon.

Helping fuel the price is the state gas tax, it's the highest in state history.

With a $.32 excise tax and a $.24 sales tax, Hoosiers are feeling the pain at the pump.

It's more important than ever to find the cheapest gas near you. You can use this map of gas prices, powered by Gas Buddy.

The sticker price can be a shock to many consumers. WRTV stopped by several gas stations Tuesday, the average price was $4.50/gallon.

Of that cost, $.56 of the price are the taxes. The big question is where are your taxpayer dollars going?

In the Indiana state budget agency's April report it states a majority goes to the gas use tax which is allocated to the general fund.

That is used to pay for a variety of things, traditionally in the past it's been used for the following:

  • General Property Taxes 
  • Other Taxes
  •  Business Licenses and Permits
  • Nonbusiness Licenses and Permits
  • Federal Operating Grants
  • Federal Shared Revenues
  • Federal Payments in Lieu of Taxes
  • State Operating Grants
  • State Shared Revenues
  • Financial Institutions Tax
  • Auto and Aircraft Excise
  • Certified Shares (Local Income Tax)
  • Property Tax Replacement Credit (Local Income Tax)
  • Commercial Vehicle Excise Tax
  • Liquor Excise Tax Distributions (ATC)
  • Liquor Gallonage T ax Distributions
  • Cigarette Tax Distributions
  • Wagering Tax Distributions
  • Charges for Services
  • Fines and Forfeitures
  • Interest on Investments
  • Rental of Property
  • Cable TV Franchise
  • Contributions and Donations From Private Sources
  • Interfund Transfers
  • Transfer From Parking Meter Fund
  • Transfer From Cumulative Capital Improvement Fund
  • Transfer From Dormant Fund
  • Proceeds of Capital Asset Dispositions
  • Proceeds From Long-T erm Debt
  • General Obligation Bond Proceeds
  • Premiums on Bonds Sold
  • Temporary Loan From Fund
  • Sale of Investments
  • Refunds
  • Other

For more on where the general fund has been used, click here.

Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb's office said the money goes toward infrastructure, for things like roads and bridges.

His office referred WRTV to INDOT, who, as of Wednesday evening, had not resounded to our request.

The high price is why Democrats are pressuring Republicans to suspend Indiana gas taxes for the summer.

"We're getting to the point where they are starting to make decisions do they get gas or so other things in their life that are necessary," State Rep. Mitch Gore, D-Indianapolis, said.

Gore handed out $15 gas gift cards, which he said will help his constituents with the higher price they are paying at the pump.

"I need every little bit of help I can get," Deborah Bolden said. "The struggle is difficult."

Bolden, an Indiana resident, added she is on a fixed income and the change in gas price impacts her greatly.

She isn't the only one who appreciated the assistance Tuesday.

"I restrict my travel a little bit more and look for chances to carpool," Barbara VanVleet said.

Last week, experts said Hoosiers shouldexpect gas prices to maintain or rise over the next couple of weeks.