Louisiana House votes down sales tax hike for road work

Lawmakers in the House have rejected a 1-cent sales-tax hike that would pay for improvements to Louisiana’s crumbling roads.

Because the proposal by Rep. Karen St. Germain would increase taxes, it needed support from two-thirds of lawmakers. The House voted 52-42 for the bill, far short of the 70 votes it required to pass.

St. Germain said the state has delayed its road needs: “We’ve kicked the can down the road so long that we’re still digging it out of a pothole.”

After the vote, the Democrat from Pierre Part decided not to take up a separate road construction proposal that would raise the state gasoline tax by 10 cents.

The proposals would have raised $1 billion next year.

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House Bills 777 and 778 can be found at http://www.legis.la.gov

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