La. Transportation Secretary Concerned About Continued Federal Money
Louisiana recently announced an additional $80 million in federal transportation dollars, but Transportation Secretary Shawn Wilson says the days of the state getting extra money from the feds for road improvements might stop. Wilson says the state budget has become so tight, it will be difficult for Louisiana to put up the matching dollars.
"Right now I do not anticipate we're going to have money to make our federal match, let alone match the additional dollars we are seeing," said Wilson.
Wilson says the state legislature had a chance to generate more revenue for Louisiana highway projects by raising the gasoline tax in 2017.
"The bill did not proceed out of the House of Representatives and as a result of we are going to make magic where we can, but it's going to be very difficult," said Wilson.
The 80-million dollars is in addition to the 700-to-800 million dollars Louisiana receives every year from the federal government. But Wilson says the state could start to see fewer federal transportation dollars, because Louisiana's current state gasoline tax of 20-cents per gallon is not generating enough money.
"That $700-to-800 million will suddenly shrink and that is a concern, because we are using every dollar right now and we are not keeping up," said Wilson.