The Transportation Task Force votes today on a recommendation to increase the budget for roads and bridges by $700 million a year.

DOTD Secretary Shawn Wilson says the need in Louisiana is great, and in order to address that need, they need an annual infusion of dollars that’s indexed for the Transportation Trust Fund.

Wilson says that money could come from toll roads, public-private partnerships, or an increase in the gas tax.
He says the state’s 20-cent gas tax that was imposed 30 years ago is only worth half hat today. He says the state has $16 million in projects needed, including a new Mississippi River Bridge in Baton Rouge, and those projects require funding.

DOTD Secretary Shawn Wilson says "That is what we need to fix what we need to fix, and achieve what we need to achieve."

The panel should wrap up its work and make recommendations by December 13th.

The state gasoline tax, which is sure to be a big part of any funding plan, would have to be increased by about 23 cents per gallon to come up with $700 million in new dollars per year.

It’s been almost 29 years since the state has adjusted the gas tax, and Wilson says it’s lost almost 50% of its value.

Which states have the highest taxes on gas? The Tax Foundation keeps track of the numbers.

Pennsylvania has the highest rate of 51.60 cents per gallon  and is followed closely by New York, Hawaii, and California.