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Idaho Legislature Nears Gas Tax Deal, Adjournment

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Idaho’s gas tax could go up 7 cents per gallon under a proposed deal between the House and Senate.

The tentative agreement was reached Friday after two days of tense negotiations.

The plan would also boost vehicle registration fees by $21 -- and direct some surplus money to transportation in good years.

Democrat Mat Erpelding sits on the special committee that negotiated the bipartisan deal.

“Many people say all the time that politics is the art of the possible,” he said. “And if this is the best that the legislature can get, then I think that -- reluctantly -- I think that I can support it.”

The plan would raise a little over a third of what Idaho transportation officials say they need to keep up with repairs.

Republicans in the House and Senate had disagreed on how much to raise the gas tax and whether to take from the state’s general fund for transportation.

If the deal doesn’t fall apart, both chambers plan to move quickly to vote it out and adjourn for the year.

Copyright 2015 Northwest News Network

Jessica Robinson
Jessica Robinson reported for four years from the Northwest News Network's bureau in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho as the network's Inland Northwest Correspondent. From the politics of wolves to mining regulation to small town gay rights movements, Jessica covered the economic, demographic and environmental trends that have shaped places east of the Cascades. Jessica left the Northwest News Network in 2015 for a move to Norway.