Deanna B. Narveson | April 25, 2019
Since 2015, legislatures in 19 conservative states—those that voted for President Trump in
the 2016 election—have increased their gasoline taxes by between 3 cents and 19 cents per gallon, according to an analysis released today by the Baton Rouge Area Chamber.
BRAC says that Baton Rouge Rep. Steve Carter’s HB 542 is “a chance for Louisiana to join these states with a new and renewed investment in traffic infrastructure.” The bill, which Carter on Tuesday said would be amended to remove a sales tax provision, would give Louisiana a new 18-cent-per-gallon tax increase, phased in over 11 years.
Louisiana’s gas tax hasn’t been raised since the 1980s, and at 20 cents per gallon is among the lowest in the U.S., BRAC says. HB 542 ensures that the new funds collected are dedicated to construction—both new and maintenance.
The bill also pulls funding from the transportation trust fund that currently pays for DOTD employee pensions and benefits and puts them into the construction sub-fund, dedicating them to construction, which means DOTD will need to seek benefits funding from the general fund, giving the legislators greater access to the DOTD budget. Additionally, the bill includes fees for electric and hybrid vehicles, to compensate for tax revenue lost as cars use less gas. Read Daily Report’s latest story on Carter’s bill.