Group suggests fuel tax to pay for road repairs
BATON ROUGE – Advocates for better infrastructure propose a tax on fuel – paid by drivers – as a way to help fund road repairs in Louisiana.
Kenneth Perret, the president of Louisiana Good Roads, spoke at a meeting of the Baton Rouge Pess Club Monday. He discussed an audit that found there is not enough money to care for roads across the state.
"We sometime over look the fact that bad roads cost more," he said as he sold his group's idea; a ten-cent increase on the tax for each gallon of fuel.
Right now, Louisiana's gas tax is 20 cents. Money raised is used to fun roads. Perret said the national avarge is about 31 cents, and he'd like to see Louisiana increase its tax to that level.
Perret said while drivers save instantly at the pump with lower gas prices, they end up paying for repairs to their vehicles after driving on deteriorating roads.
"[There are] a lot of potholes around here," driver Janeice Benson said about her commute. "... Then you have the ground coming up from middle and your hitting it and it's messes up your alignment."
"I don't have a problem with it," another driver, Reid Sanchez, said about Perrets's suggestion. Sanchez was at a gas station in Baton Rouge when he learned about the proposal Monday and said he just drove through a road that needed work.
“On the way over here, I actually hit a pothole and I just got some new tires on my truck and I don't think a ten-cent increase is very much. I think our roads definitely need it."
Perret also recommended lawmakers allow local authorities, like parish governments, to levy its own tax on fuel. Perret said money could be stored in investments through a state-wide infrastructure bank.