Ascension Parish has experienced dramatic growth in recent years, and that growth has brought many benefits — but also, many costs.

The complicated challenge involved in addressing those costs was underscored by the defeat of a tax proposal on the Nov. 6 ballot to address Ascension Parish’s growing road and bridge needs.

The proposed 25-year, half-cent sales tax lost handily, with 57 percent of those who voted in the election opposed to the tax.

East Baton Rouge Parish stands as a cautionary tale of what can happen when spending on roads and bridges fails to keep pace with growth. That’s what East Baton Rouge Parish residents are facing today, as officials attempt to play catch-up with long-underfunded road and bridge needs. We supported passage of the half-cent sales tax in Ascension, but we respect the will of the parish’s voters in rejecting the proposed tax.

Critics of the tax now have an obligation, though, to suggest some constructive alternatives for advancing Ascension Parish’s road and bridge needs.