Jennifer Corbett, The News Journal

Tommy: Did we find a way to help fix Louisiana’s roads?

Tommy Tucker, WWL First News
April 03, 2019 - 10:00 am

When it comes to fixing our roads and bridges in Louisiana…would you rather see the gas tax increased or have toll roads?

If we increase the gas tax, everybody pays and contributes.  But then again, there’s no guarantee that the road YOU want fixed will be a priority.  Instead of fixing the highway near you, the government could take that money and go fix stuff on the complete opposite end of the state.

If we have more toll roads, only the people who actually use them will have to pay.  And you don’t have to worry about what some officials in Baton Rouge want to fix first. 

I’m in the toll road camp. 

To be clear, no one was more vociferous than was I when it came to eliminating Crescent City Connection tolls. They were LONG overdue to be done away with and were paid to the state, not a private operator.  The revenue raised from those tolls wasn't limited to those specific bridges. It was used by the DODT for other projects throughout the state. 

That's how a gas tax would work. Everyone would pay a higher price for gasoline and the state would decide where to spend the money. With a private public partnership, the money would be dedicated, contractually, to that bridge or highway and ONLY that state or highway.

We spoke to a couple people to hear both arguments, however.  State representative Steve Carter, a Republican, has been trying to increase the gas tax for the past several years. 

On the other side, we talked to Robert Poole, the Director of Transportation at the Reason Foundation, about why he supports having more toll roads.

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