Opening a late session controversy, a House panel Tuesday narrowly approved a bill that would raise Louisiana's gasoline tax by 17 cents per gallon, increasing state aid for roads and bridges by $510 million annually.Yeah, it appears that our state Highway Dept has been pissing away our money for many years, and now they've decided that they need more money.
The bulk of the new dollars – about $260 million per year – would go for state priority projects, including "mega" plans like a new bridge across the Mississippi River in Baton Rouge for more than $1 billion.Yeah, that's what we need, a new bridge in Baton Rouge. We've been spending money on the roads in Baton Rouge for twenty years that I'm aware of. The road network in Baton Rouge should be pristine. Every time I drive through that hell-hole, they're working on the roads.
What Louisiana needs is a nice four-lane highway across the center of the state. From Natchez, MS, westward toward Texas. Nothing like that currently exists and I don't know of any plans to build such a road. Hell, the state just built a new bridge across the Mississippi river at New Roads, and there is no real highway network to make use of.
I agree that the state has kicked the can down the road for too long. It's easy to put-off transportation work. We've been doing it a long time, and it is the fault of every politician since Huey Long.
When you get out of the big cities of Baton Rouge, New Orleans, and Shreveport, the Louisiana road network sucks. The politicos have been pissing away our road money for too long. Both Texas and Mississippi get the same road money that Louisiana gets and their road network is much better.
Maybe what Louisiana needs instead of new taxes is new politicians.