Lawmakers discuss new tax for road improvements

LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) – Louisiana is known for its poor road conditions. For example, the Evangeline Thruway, and it’s roads like this one that are costing residents thousands of dollars.

“Here in the lafayette area the average driver loses about $2,000 each year,” said Carolyn Kelly with TRIP, a national transportation research group.

This number comes from hidden fees associated with poor road conditions. Conditions that the state can’t afford to fix.

“There are tremendous projects that have need for investment here in the state of Louisiana that we just can not afford with the current revenue stream,” said DOTD officials.

Right now Louisiana has a gas tax of 20 cents.

DOTD Secretary sSawn Wilson said lawmakers are considering adding to that tax to help generate more funds.

“The average driver only pays $108 a year for gas taxes and were asking them to help pay more resources for that because they’re going to spend more money on maintenance associated with poor conditions of roads then they’re going to pay building roads.”

This is a tax some residents are not happy about.

“That’s not fair for us. We shouldn’t have to pay, I think the truckers should have to pay if anything. they make the roads so bad,” said resident Bradley Guillory.

Wilson said lawmakers estimated they will need to generate seven hundred million dollars a year to meet the needs of the state.

“We are very honest with people, if we don’t invest, we will continue to have the system we have and it will get worse, or we can invest and insure that we get better and control our destiny,” said Wilson.

 

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