La.’s Transportation Trust Fund coming up short amid state infrastructure needs

Transportation Trust Fund not enough to meet $14.87B in statewide infrastructure projects
Transportation Trust Fund is not enough to meet $14.87B in statewide infrastructure projects.
Published: Sep. 6, 2022 at 1:54 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 6, 2022 at 1:57 PM CDT
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(KALB) - According to the Louisiana Legislative Auditor’s office, there isn’t enough money in the state’s transportation trust fund to meet statewide infrastructure necessities.

Among the reasons, fuel tax rates haven’t increased since 1990, which is the trust fund’s largest source of revenue. Another reason, the average fuel efficiency of passenger cars in the United States has increased, which has decreased the amount of revenue going into the fund.

Auditors also found from 2015 through 2021, $309.6 million dollars in TTF funds were used to supplement the voter-approved Transportation Infrastructure Model for Economic Development program along with a variety of local projects, which further reduced the amount of revenue for state transportation needs.

Within the next decade, the auditor’s office also estimates there will be an increase in automobile fuel efficiency and external electric charging vehicles, which could result in $563.6 million dollars less in motor fuel tax revenue.

Act 578 of the 2022 Regular Legislative Session will allow the state to collect a road usage fee for these types of vehicles. The auditor’s office reports, even if the fee is collected, as required, the revenue is projected to offset the impact of external electric charging vehicles on motor fuel tax collections and not that of more fuel-efficient vehicles. As a result, the state could still lose $322.9 million dollars starting in 2023 to 2032.

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