GOP lawmaker: Gas tax measure offers strong ROI for infrastructure needs

By Caitie Burkes

Despite the pandemic-triggered hit to the state’s economy, Louisiana cannot afford to keep putting off its infrastructure problems, state Rep. Jack McFarland, R-Winnfield, said today as he unveiled the details of his proposed Government Reform in Transportation, or GRIT, Act to the Press Club of Baton Rouge.

While his bill would have a state gasoline tax fund Louisiana’s crumbling roads and bridges, it also includes sweeping reforms of spending and operations at the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development—which, as previously reported by Daily Report, makes it different from unsuccessful gas tax attempts in recent years.

“One thing we cannot do is innovate our way out of a $15 billion backlog of infrastructure projects, and we can’t build $13 billion worth of new capacity projects without new money,” McFarland told reporters. “I’m tired of pretending we can do this, because we can’t.”

The bill would raise the state’s gas tax by 10 cents in the first year and by an additional 2 cents every other year until 2033, when it would be a total of 22 cents higher than its current 20 cents. Each 1-cent increase would raise an estimated $30 million, which by 2033 would equal some $660 million a year in new revenue.

Under McFarland’s bill, 60% of those revenues will … Continue Reading >>>

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