LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – An Indiana lawmaker said he once again plans to propose bills to give tax breaks for Hoosiers who use Ohio River toll bridges.

State Sen. Ron Grooms, R-Jeffersonville, filed similar legislation during the 2016 Indiana General Assembly, but it died in a Senate committee.

Grooms told WDRB News that he will submit bills that give residents of Floyd and Clark counties an income tax deduction and let businesses claim a tax credit for certain toll-related expenses.

He said he is hopeful that the measures will get a hearing during the session that starts in January because lawmakers also will take up the state budget.

Kentucky and Indiana officials have said tolls will start on three bridges between Louisville and Clark County, Ind., by the end of the year, although no date has been set. Drivers will be charged to use the Interstate 65 John F. Kennedy and Abraham Lincoln bridges, and the yet-to-be-named East End Bridge connecting Utica, Ind., and Prospect, Ky.  

Grooms filed two bills for this year’s session. One would have let a resident of the two counties take an annual tax deduction of up to $500, based on “non-reimbursed” toll expenses of at least $100.

The other measure set a maximum tax credit of $5,000 for toll expenses for businesses with offices in Clark or Floyd counties.

Taken together, the credits and deductions would reduce the Indiana General Fund by $2.4 million to $8.5 million a year, with the losses growing by 3 percent to 5 percent annually, according to fiscal impact statements.

“It’s very tough to introduce legislation that takes money – revenue – away,” Grooms said. “It’s easier to do it before it’s actually started than it is to do it after it’s been collected for four years.”

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