If it seems like every other State in the Union has either raised their fuel tax – or is working on it – it’s because they are. A full 21 states’ legislatures have proposed raising the gas tax, and more of those proposals have been successful than not.
Louisiana is up next, with a vote Tuesday in the powerful Ways and Means Committee which will determine the fate of a years-long battle to raise the gas tax there.
Americans for Prosperity (AFP), whose Tennessee state group opposed the gas tax in Tennessee, is sponsoring a “Day at the Capitol” through its Louisiana state group. Activists are called to gather Tuesday, May 16 in Baton Rouge from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Ways and Means Committee room. The hearing begins at 9:30 a.m.
The Hayride reports:
There are 19 members of the House Ways And Means Committee – 12 Republicans and seven Democrats. HB 632 by Rep. Steve Carter, which is the gas tax bill, has eight eight or nine votes, depending on whose whip count you’re looking at, with a couple of the committee members on the fence. If the bill does manage to make the House floor it needs a two-thirds vote; that’s going to be pretty close to impossible to get seeing as though there are a goodly number of Democrats who aren’t for it. Those Democrats are saying their constituents, many if not most of whom are poor and particularly broke after the sales tax hike Edwards dragged through the legislature last year, can’t afford a 17 cent increase in the state’s gas tax.
The gas tax bill is a $539 million tax increase. It’s a colossal tax increase. For a Republican legislature to pass that increase on a two-thirds vote when lots of Democrats says they’re against it after spending the whole session loudly decrying any new taxes, amid an even louder public disapproval of the tax – the Truth In Politics survey last month found 75 percent disapproval of the gas tax hike, 63 percent of it strong disapproval, against a paltry 22 percent approval – would be the longest of long shots.
But despite it’s unpopularity, rumors of momentum for support for the measure have Tea Party of Louisiana (TPoLA) teaming up with Americans for Prosperity to once again “Axe the Tax” in the Bayou State.
“Government belongs to those who show up,” said Bob Reid, spokesperson and founding member of the TPoLA in a email blast sent Monday night on the eve of the vote.
This quote has been proven true time and time again in Louisiana. Despite polling showing 67% of Louisianians opposed to higher taxes, our legislators for 2 years have raised over $2 billion in taxes on this state. Why? That 67% does not show up- we’re busy working while liberal special interest groups bus people in to beg for more taxpayer dollars before committees. It is time that we show up again and again and stand up against higher taxes!!
Louisiana’s gas tax hike proposal, HB 632, has some particularly enriching features, including:
- Raises state gas tax from $0.20 to $0.37- an increase of about $5 per fill-up, or $250 a year if you fill up weekly
- The increase does not stop at $0.17 per gallon. This bill would index the gas tax to the Consumer Price Index, eventually increasing another $0.13 per gallon- more than doubling the current tax
“There are alternatives to a higher gas tax for more road funding,” Reid said.
“First, we could start by using all of the Transportation Trust Fund. There are other bills in the legislature, including one by Rep. Bacala, to use sales tax from vehicle sales to fund road repair and construction. If a legislator says a gas tax is the only option, they have not looked hard enough!”
Americans for Prosperity made this video opposing the proposal: