April 19, 2017 11:54 AM

Rep. Steve Carter filed, as promised, House Bill 632 Tuesday, which would increase Louisiana’s gas tax by 17 cents per gallon and would raise an estimated additional $510 million annually for the state’s highways and bridges.

“Across Louisiana, our infrastructure is crumbling,” the Baton Rouge Republican said off the floor. “The citizens of this state are sick of being stuck in traffic, and they want bold solutions that improve safety, quality of life and economic productivity, which this bill provides.”

As of mid-April, Louisiana motorists are paying 38.4 cents per gallon, including 20 cents in state taxes.

“At the same time, this bill includes key provisions to safeguard investments with greater transparency and accountability members of the Legislature and the people they represent deserve,” Carter said.

By increasing the gas tax by 17 cents, the additional cost to the average Louisiana driver would be approximately $113 per year — less than $10 a month. Gov. John Bel Edwards’ task force on transportation recommended an increase of 23 cents. However, the 17-cent raise was a compromise intended to maintain ability to provide sufficient, significant transportation projects across the state.

HB632 prohibits the State Department of Transportation and Development from utilizing gas tax revenue for departmental and operational costs. Fifty percent of the newly proposed tax will be earmarked for construction of statewide megaprojects.

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