CREATIVE COMMONS/MIKE MOZART
As he had promised, State Rep. Steve Carter, R-Baton Rouge, filed House Bill 632 today, which would increase Louisiana’s gas tax by 17 cents per gallon and raise an estimated $510 million annually for the state’s highways and bridges.
Off the floor, Carter said, “Across Louisiana, our infrastructure is crumbling. The citizens of this state are sick of being stuck in traffic, and they want bold solutions that improve safety, quality of life and economic productivity, which this bill provides.”
Louisiana motorists now are paying 38.4 cents per gallon, including 20 cents in state taxes.
“At the same time, this bill includes key provisions to safeguard investments with greater transparency and accountability members of the legislature and the people they represent deserve,” Carter said.
By increasing the gas tax by 17 cents, the additional cost to the average Louisiana driver would be approximately $113 per year — less than $10 a month. Gov. John Bel Edwards’ task force on transportation recommended an increase of 23 cents. The 17-cent hike was a compromise. Fifty percent of the proposed tax will be earmarked for construction of statewide megaprojects.