The debate over whether to build a high-speed rail line spanning 80 miles between Baton Rouge and New Orleans is heating up.
HB 531, which was passed unanimously by the House, would create the Lafayette Parish Redevelopment Authority, which would approve local government use of future property, sales, and other taxes to pay back debt-funded development of “blighted” or “distressed” areas.
“The simple solution is to stop imposing federal boondoggles on the states and let them determine their needs for expanded rail networks.”
A feasibility study by Burk-Kleinpeter Inc. and HDR Engineering emphasizes the economic and social benefits of the proposed high-speed rail linking New Orleans to Baton Rouge. Currently under revision, the final report is due March 16. With an estimated 78% probability of having a positive return on investment, the study claims that the value creation…