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SD Lawmakers Explore Highway Funding, User Fees

August 27, 2014, 6:07 PM

SD Lawmakers Explore Highway Funding, User Fees
PIERRE, SD -

A committee of South Dakota lawmakers is exploring ways the state can generate more revenue for its state and local highways that are becoming costly to keep up.

The Highway Needs and Financing Committee met this week at the state Capitol. Committee members discussed ideas for potential legislation like increasing some user fees.

Republican Chairman Sen. Mike Vehle suggested lowering the gas tax from 22 cents to 20 cents but adding a 3 percent excise tax on fuel. The gas tax has been 22 cents since 1999.

Agricultural and business leaders say the state needs to focus on ways to get funding to rural roads that are in bad shape.

Secretary of Agriculture Lucas Lentsch says keeping farm-to-market roads in good condition is crucial.

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