Gas Tax

Louisiana Transportation and Development Secretary Shawn Wilson, right, speaks in support of a gasoline tax increase bill by Rep. Steve Carter, R-Baton Rouge, left, on Tuesday, May 16, 2017.

Your article of May 16, 2017 entitled "House Panel Creates More Tax Exemptions, Not Revenue" was very revealing. The lobbyists are packing the seats in the very committee rooms themselves, and the Legislature is handing them virtually everything they ask for. Who is lobbying for the average citizen and taxpayer of this state? It is supposed to be our elected legislators, but they are simply "carrying the water" for all these lobbyists.

The pockets of the people of Louisiana are going to be picked as never before. House Bill 345 effectively lowers the homestead exemption by $20,000 and the gasoline tax will adversely affect all of our citizens. For a state where routinely the legislators and the so-called good government types decry the tax system as "regressive," how much more regressive can you can you get than these two proposed taxes? Yet I hear very few voices against these measures.

And once again, there is the gasoline tax. When first proposed this legislative session, it was camouflaged in the language of saving the infrastructure of our state's roads and bridges. Now, the mask has been removed and there is no doubt of what many of us suspected all along. This is a tax to build a bridge in Baton Rouge, pure and simple. The sheer cost of such a bridge and the amount of revenue this tax will create would dictate that the lion's share of the tax revenue will be used for the Baton Rouge bridge alone. This is a gross insult not only to the people of New Orleans but to the entire rest of the state as well! We in New Orleans were required to pay for nearly 40 years for our two bridges with tolls. Any new bridge in Baton Rouge should be paid for with tolls, period.

The legislators in Baton Rouge should remember that they may fail to advocate for their constituents now, but come election time we will "fail to advocate" for them by voting them out of office. And if they think we will forget their current actions, that will be difficult to do since we will be reminded every time we pay our increased monthly mortgage or fill up the tanks in our vehicles.

Susan M. Weyer

retired physican

New Orleans