Business Groups Don't Want Taxes Raised for Roads, Bridges

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Jackson, Miss.

Business groups still aren't ready to raise Mississippi's taxes to repair and build highways and bridges.

In responses to a state Senate study committee, the Mississippi Manufacturers Association, the Mississippi Trucking Association, gas station owners and farm groups all say they want further study of the efficiency of the Mississippi Department of Transportation before discussing more revenue.

Highway officials say the state needs hundreds of millions of dollars a year to repair existing roads and bridges and build new ones.

That led Senate Transportation Chairman Willie Simmons, a Cleveland Democrat, to propose as much as $700 million a year in new taxes last month.

But reaction to that proposal made clear many members of A special committee created by the Senate were far from agreeing to any need.