The conservative political advocacy group, Americans for Prosperity, is pushing back against proposals to increase the state’s gasoline tax. State Director John Kay says they stand against any increase on the gasoline tax, no matter how big or small, because Louisiana taxpayers have already seen their taxes go up enough.
“Louisianans have been put on the hook for an additional $2.4 billion in tax increases over the past couple of years by the legislature,” Kay said.
There’s talk of increasing the state’s gasoline tax between 17 to 23 cents to generate more money to fix Louisiana’s lousy roads. But Kay says only 11% of the money in the transportation trust fund is used to repair and construct roads. He says structural changes should be made before taxes are raised.
“Before Baton Rouge goes after another money grab, they should take the time to make sure that they restore credibility and trust to the transportation trust fund, which is something they have not taken the time to do,” Kay said.
Kay says Louisianans are already paying a combined state and local tax of more than 38 cents for every gallon of gas they buy. Proponents for increasing the tax say it hasn’t been raised in 30 year and doesn’t account for inflation. But Kay says taxes shouldn’t go up just because they haven’t been increased in a while.
“Justification for raising a tax could possibly come, maybe, after they’ve taken the time to dig in to the transportation trust fund spending and fix that problem first,” Kay said.