JD Police Jury opposes gas tax

JENNINGS — Jeff Davis Parish Police Juror Byron Buller called for the Police Jury on Wednesday to oppose a proposed 17-cents-per-gallon tax increase on gasoline.

Louisiana motorists now pay 38.4 cents in taxes per gallon — 20 cents in state sales taxes and 18.4 cents in federal taxes.

Under House Bill 632, by Rep. Steve Carter, R-Baton Rouge, the tax would increase by 17 cents. It would rise every four years, beginning in 2021, to keep up with inflation, with a 3 percent cap on every increase.

“We will be 55 cents per gallon, and we have people on low income,” Buller said. “I think this will set us back, and I think our state is very wasteful with the money they are working with. Every time we turn around they cut us, including our severance tax, yet they turned around and got big raises when they went in, then they went and taxed us.”

The additional revenue from the tax increase would generate funding for state road improvements and transportation infrastructure, but Buller is concerned about how the money would be spent. He said the current tax was supposed to be used for the same projects, but that Louisiana has some of the worst roads and bridges.

“I’m tired of these people we are putting in office. Every time they want to run, their key people call my house for our support,” Buller said.

“But when it comes to how we feel about a tax they are going to vote on, no one calls us … you never hear anything from them.”

The sales tax on gasoline has not changed since 1990, when legislators approved a 4-cents-per-gallon increase.

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