ELECTION 2018 Louisiana voters to decide on fuel tax revenue use
October 1, 2018
Voters in Louisiana next month will decide whether to keep fuel tax revenue solely for transportation purposes.
Constitutional Amendment 4 on the state’s Nov. 6 ballot is a legislatively referred constitutional amendment. The change would end the dedication of revenue from the Transportation Trust Fund to state police for traffic control.
The fund was setup to collect revenue from all state fuel taxes. Available revenue is used for road and bridge work, a stateside flood-control program, ports, airports, transit, state police, and the Parish Transportation Fund for parish governments.
If the question is approved by voters, the state Constitution would be amended to take away the option for state lawmakers and the governor to move funds to state police.
The placement of Amendment 4 on the statewide ballot marks the second time in as many years that Louisiana voters will decide on a transportation question.
In 2017, voters approved Constitutional Amendment 3 to protect new transportation funds raised in the state. As a result, any new fuel tax revenue in the state could not be used for purposes unrelated to transportation and infrastructure.
Approval of the amendment to the state’s Constitution was anticipated to aid efforts to address a $13 billion backlog for transportation needs. Another $10 billion in needs has been identified for “megaprojects” in the state.
In an effort to help address the identified funding needs, multiple bills have been considered in recent years at the statehouse to raise the state’s 20-cent-per-gallon fuel tax rate by at least 7 cents. The tax rate has remained unchanged since 1989 – the same year the Transportation Trust Fund was created.