Proposed $7 billion tax hike for new bridge
BATON ROUGE- State Representative Karen St. Germain (D-Pierre Part) wants to add 1% to the state sales by passing a bill to raise $7 billion dollars over 10 years for new road and bridge construction.
Germain is chairwoman of the House Transportation, Highways, and Public Works Committee. She says the road improvements are badly needed to keep businesses in the state.
"We actually have lost two major industries that were going to relocate here, but because of the traffic issues, and the capacity issues, they're not coming," she said.
The current state sales tax is 4%. Muncipalities and local taxing bodies add a few more percentages to make a total of 9 to nearly 10%.
"I think the average person is not going to feel this penny," said Germain. "I think the average person will take it as what they're going to see in the future of what this can bring to their area."
There are a number of proposed projects listed in the bill, including a new bridge across the Mississippi River in Germain's district.
But, the state has a $12 billion backlog for projects.
Governor Bobby Jindal has said he will veto any new tax that isn't offset by a spending cut. Still, Germain says the tax is necessary.
"I do it one step at a time. One House, one Senate, and then we'll talk to the governor."