With gas tax dead, Carter calls for an infrastructure special session
Legislation to raise the gas tax to fund infrastructure projects gets shelved due to a lack of support, prompting bill author, Baton Rouge Representative Steve Carter, to request the winner of the fall gubernatorial election call a special “infrastructure” session next year.
Carter says crumbling roads and bridges are some of the biggest threat facing the state.
“This should be the number one campaign issue, give the next year’s members the opportunity to do something of real significance, something that they can be proud of, because it effects every one of us.”
Carter’s plan would have raised the gas tax six cents in the first year, and up to 18 cents over the next 12 years.
But Crowley Representative John Stefanski says support for any additional taxes will remain tepid until the state government proves it can do a better job managing it’s money.
“I polled this issue, and overwhelmingly it comes back negative against a new gas tax, and it think we have to move forward with reform before we can build the confidence with our constituents to be able to get a new tax.”
Carter says there just wasn’t enough time left in the session to push the bill through the House and Senate.
Carter was visibly frustrated at many of his colleague’s refusal to back the 300-million-dollar proposal, saying it’s not right for the Legislature to keep kicking the can down the road.
“We came here to have to courage, we came here to be bold, and we’ve waited 30 years to be bold.”