Gas tax increase in the hopper for Louisiana

Bill would increase gas tax by 17 cents/gallon

April 19, 2017 - 2:54 pm

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A Baton Rouge lawmaker has filed a proposal that would increase the state’s gasoline tax by 17 cents. Louisiana motorists pay 38-cents per gallon, 20-cents in state taxes for gasoline. Representative Steve Carter says it’s been over 20 years since Louisiana increased the state tax on gasoline.

“The value of the gasoline tax right now is about 7 cents on the dollar, so we can’t get very much done and we have a back log in the billions of dollars.”

The proposed law would require the state to use at least 50% of the proceeds, over the first 20 years, to begin construction on mega-projects, like a new Mississippi River Bridge in Baton Rouge. Carter says if signed into law, his tax hike would generate about $500 million a year.

“We’ll be able to bond out and do some of these mega-projects that are so needed. So 17 cents was a number that seemed to work, in order to get some of these problems resolved.”

A group representing small businesses oppose the increase because many do not believe the funds would go to better roads. There’s also just a general opposition at the capitol to any higher taxes. Carter says when the bill comes up for debate, they’ll provide detailed information on how a higher gasoline tax will benefit the state.

“So, we’ve got to convince the public and we’ve got to convince the people in the legislature that what we say we’re going to do, we’re going to do.” 

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