Gov. Butch Otter says some higher taxes will be needed to fund improvements to Idaho’s highway system.

Otter is asking lawmakers to approve a series of bills designed to ramp up spending for the state’s roadways.

At a press conference Tuesday, the Republican governor said that the transportation package — and accompanying tax increases — are vital for the state’s future.

“I can’t ever remember when I ever took the lead in raising taxes on anything for any purpose,” Otter said, according to the Spokesman-Review newspaper. “I’m confident that we’ve made the right arguments in favor of this.”

According to the newspaper, Otter’s proposals include hiking gasoline taxes by two cents per year for the next five years, increasing vehicle registration fees over the next five years, and raising car rental taxes.

The total package would generate about $174 million a year when fully implemented, the governor said.

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