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News ReleaseAug. 11, 2015
$1 a week more for gas could improve Louisiana roads, transportation advocacy group says
The president of Louisiana's top transportation advocacy group says a 10-cent gas tax hike to would help improve the state's road system and would cost the average motorist less than $1 a week.

Kenneth Perret
"Good roads cost money, but bad roads cost more," said Kenneth Perret, president of the Louisiana Good Roads and Transportation Association. Perret called for the gas tax increase on Monday at the Baton Rouge Press Club. Perret also released the group's White Paper on Louisiana's Transportation Funding Issues, which explains why Louisiana's transportation system is in a funding crisis and recommends ways to fix it.

Louisiana's primary method of financing transportation is through a 20-cent-per gallon gas tax, which has not been adjusted since 1990. The average state gas tax is about 31 cents-per-gallon.

"People on the street are shocked when they find out they are only contributing about $100 a year in state gas taxes to the transportation system," Perret said. "You can't go out to dinner and a movie for $100."

Perret's comments are backed up by a report from the Louisiana Legislative Auditor that says a gas tax increase, or other revenue-raising measures, may be needed to ensure the state can properly maintain its transportation infrastructure.

Although the lower gas tax saves the average driver about $55 a year compared to drivers in other states, Perret pointed out that Louisiana drivers pay a "Bad Roads Tax"  through extra car repairs, alignments, vehicle depreciation and wasted fuel because of congestion. That Bad Roads Tax in Louisiana amounts to more than $1,200, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation and the TRIP report, a national transportation group.

"So, we're saving $55 a year, but we're paying more than $1,200 to save that money," Perret said.

Other recommendations in the Good Roads' white paper include:
  • Changing Louisiana law to allow  local and parish governments to raise local gas taxes to support local projects
  • Passage of Constitutional Amendment 1 to establish the Budget Stabilization and Transportation Trust
  • Passage of Constitutional Amendment 2 to authorize the transfer of funds into the statewide Infrastructure Bank
Perret also called on candidates for governor and the legislature to address Louisiana's transportation funding crisis with "real solutions, not campaign slogans." Perret said for Louisiana to have a stronger transportation system, "we must have real leadership from the governor's office.

"Legislators are not going to support an increase in revenue for our roads if they know the governor is going to veto it," Perret said. "It takes leadership."

Louisiana Good Roads and Transportation Association is a statewide, non-profit organization dedicated to fostering and promoting a program of planning, design, construction and maintenance of an adequate transportation system, sufficiently financed, which will conveniently and safely serve the transportation needs of the people of Louisiana.

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Mark Lambert