Opposition was deep and wide at last week's election to Ascension Parish's proposal for a 25-year, 0.5% increase in the local sales tax for road projects in unincorporated portions of the parish.

More than 57% turned down the tax increase. The measure did not pass in any precinct.

The additional revenue was going to be earmarked to the support $80 million of revenue bonds for the road effort.

The tax would have been collected only in the unincorporated areas of the parish between Baton Rouge and New Orleans. Approval would have brought the parish sales tax rate to 9% in the rural areas.

Parish council chairman Chris Loar said officials now have to find some other funding source for the parish's growing traffic problems.

Loar said he was surprised by the rejection of a plan that focused on specific projects to resolve road bottlenecks with wider intersections and additional turn lanes.

"We thought we had a good plan," he said.

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