A House committee has unanimously endorsed a proposed constitutional amendment that would ensure a special fuel tax goes to an underground storage tank insurance fund as lawmakers originally intended.
The Idaho Supreme Court ruled in July 1995 that the 1-cent-per-gallon tax could only be used for highway purposes under the state Constitution. So while the money is still being collected, it no longer goes to the Petroleum Storage Tank Fund.
Dave Mabe of the Western Petroleum Marketers Association said Wednesday that the constitutional amendment would ensure the money goes where the Legislature wanted. And when the fund reaches the $30 million cap it already is near, Mabe said Idaho’s fuel tax would be reduced by 1 cent per gallon.
But Dave Carlson of the Idaho AAA said letting fuel tax money go to anything but road construction and maintenance would open the door to other changes that might undermine the state’s highway system.
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