We keep waiting to hear when Governor Bryant will call a special legislative session to address funding for roads, bridges and other infrastructure. Word is, leaders in the Senate and House can’t agree on what they will consider as options for those funding sources.
Most people agree the legislature will not consider a fuel tax and are considering revenue from new sources like sports betting, an online sales tax and a state lottery. However, the amount of revenue from those initiatives is unknown, so the reliability of funds is a guess until trends can be established over the next few years.
When it comes to highway funding, the 1987 4-lane highway program, was one of the most successful initiatives passed by the Mississippi Legislature. The long-range highway program led to Mississippi having some of the best highways in the country.
Those roads have now deteriorated and need to be repaired. Much of the funding for the 1987 program was a motor fuel tax and that’s what we should use today.
The legislature has cut all the fat in state spending and is now cutting into the bone. We can’t fix the state’s problems without funding and the only funding is some sort of tax or fee. Instead of doing their jobs and fixing the problems we deal with every day, they are playing politics. It’s time to assemble the legislature in Jackson and approve an infrastructure improvement plan. The 1987 Highway program would be a good model to replicate now.
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