Baton Rouge Representative Steve Carter says letting the public decide whether to increase the gas tax to raise funds for traffic relief projects would be one option. He says a 23 cent tax is a possible solution in coming up with the $700 million; and leaders in the Capitol City are looking at what that money could go to.
"As a delegation what we're trying to do is come up with the projects where we get the most bang for our buck," said Carter.
Carter says they can either bring the measure to raise the gas tax out right to lawmakers, or put it to a vote of the people. He says asking a Republican dominated legislature would likely push back against such a bill.
"That's a possibility," said Carter. "And that could be where we start. If we feel like we can't get it there then we'd have to look at enacting a piece of legislation that would put it to the vote of the people."
Carter says these types of proposals would have to be brought during the regular session that begins in April. He says the Baton Rouge delegation wants to see most of that money go to projects including a new Mississippi River Bridge and the widening of I-10.
"We need to make sure that if we do enact a program where we tax people, that most of the projects will go to Baton Rouge because we need them bad," said Carter.