Republican State Representative Jack McFarland’s effort to raise the state’s gasoline tax ends before the session even begins. McFarland spent months raising awareness of why a gas tax was needed to fund transportation infrastructure, but now with billions in stimulus funds coming to the state, it’s a tough sale.

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McFarland’s GRIT Act, Government Reform In Transportation involved a gas tax that would go towards federal matching dollars to fund $15-billion for the backlog of road and bridge projects and the $13 billion estimate to improve traffic flow. McFarland says without matching dollars the state loses out on additional federal funds.

But McFarland still believes in the need to restructure how transportation trust fund dollars are classified, so they can only be used for transportation infrastructure. McFarland says plans to revise GRIT Act for now without a gas tax. Louisiana expects to receive more than $3 billion from the federal package, and local government agencies are slated to get $1.8 billion. Those dollars could be steered to roads, bridges, and other infrastructure projects

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