Louisiana legislator calls for fuel tax suspension

| 5/29/2008

In an effort to appease constituents who are feeling pain in their pocketbooks at each fill-up, a Louisiana state lawmaker has offered legislation that urges a rollback of the state’s per-gallon fuel taxes during the peak summer travel season.

Intended as “a needed respite from high fuel costs,” Rep. Wayne Waddell, R-Shreveport, has proposed a suspension of a portion of the state’s per gallon tax on motor fuels for four months. The state is encouraged to suspend collection of 16 cents per gallon collected on fuel purchases from July 1 to Oct. 30.

The state’s per-gallon tax rate on gas and diesel is 20 cents. How the tax holiday would affect the status of the International Fuel Tax Agreement requirements for miles driven in Louisiana is unclear.

A fiscal note on the non-binding resolution estimates about $152 million in lost revenue for the state. Those funds are earmarked for the state’s Transportation Trust Fund.

There is no provision that addresses how the state would compensate for the lost revenues.

Waddell wrote in the resolution that providing fuel tax relief would help stimulate the state’s economy and help residents with fuel costs that are in excess of $4.50 per gallon.

The House Concurrent Resolution – HCR74 – is in the House Ways and Means Committee.

To view other legislative activities of interest for Louisiana in 2008, click here.

– By Keith Goble, state legislative editor