Louisiana Representative Wants to Increase Gas Taxes
I can't imagine any self respecting true Louisiana boy actually believing that we actually need another tax of any kind here in the Bayou State. Much less another tax on gasoline. But that's exactly what Winnfield Representative Jack McFarland is proposing for next year's session of the House.
McFarland says that Louisiana's got to have the increase in order to fix the state's roads and bridges. He says that currently we have a 14 billion dollar backlog of road and bridge work and that the terrible condition of our roads is actually driving away both new and existing businesses and without new funds the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development is set to run out of money.
If voted in as written, McFarland's bill would add another ten cents to current taxes immediately and then add an additional two cents each year until 2033. Let's do the math on that idea real quickly.
According to taxfoundation.org, Louisiana is actually number forty three in the country when it comes to the amount of tax charged per gallon of gasoline. Currently we are at 20.01 cents per gallon. If the bill passed in 2021, we would go to 30.01 cents per gallon. 32 cents in 2022. 34 in 2023. Ultimately, we'd be at 54 cents in 2033. That's about a 270% tax increase in the span of 12 years. When you consider that increase on a personal level, you have to wonder, "is my salary going up 270% over the next years?" Highly unlikely.
Comparatively, California is currently at 62.47 cents per gallon, Pennsylvania is at 58.70 cents per gallon and Washington state is at 49.40 cents per gallon. So, while I'm not advocating the increase, I do see that we've got it a lot better than most.
In an interview with the Louisiana Radio Network, McFarland says that in order to make this happen, he needs the public's trust. “How do you do that? By going back and reforming existing revenue that is being spent at DOTD, as well as any possibility of new revenue,” said McFarland.
Called the Government Reform and Transportation Act, McFarland says that while the bill would require raising taxes, it would also call for input from lawmakers on ways to reform DOTD.
“If we are going to reform our infrastructure then it has to begin with communication of what is important to them, and their thoughts and ideas as well,” said McFarland.