South Dakota deals with fewer road dollars

| 9/17/2007

Despite the fact that transportation dollars don’t go nearly as far as they once did, South Dakota Gov. Mike Rounds said he doesn’t support increasing the state’s fuel tax to help make up the difference.

Rounds said he asked the South Dakota Department of Transportation to economize, partly by including more road repairs instead of total reconstruction, The Associated Press reported. After that, if the state still needs more revenues a fuel tax increase could be considered.

State officials said since the state’s fuel tax rate was increased to 22 cents per gallon in 1999, the cost of building roads has soared. They cite rising costs for construction materials, including asphalt.

To make matters worse, funding aid from the federal government is cloudy. The U.S. Department of Transportation has announced it may cut funding to states.

The governor said the state should take the steps needed to match available federal highway funding.

To view other legislative activities of interest for South Dakota in 2007, click here.