MDOT Director Advocates Higher Gas Tax

By: The Associated Press
By: The Associated Press

The state's top transportation official says Mississippi's gasoline tax is insufficient and the state needs to halt the diversion of fuel tax money into other programs amid the struggle to improve aging highways and bridges.

Butch Brown, executive director of the Mississippi Department of Transportation, discussed the gas tax Wednesday during a news conference introducing a national campaign to raise the awareness of critical highway and transit system needs.

Brown says Mississippi's gas tax of 18.5 cents per gallon has remained unchanged since 1987 while fuel prices have quadrupled. He says lawmakers need to increase the tax and stop diverting about a third of the money to other programs.

One of Mississippi's most critical needs is bridge repair. Brown says about 25 percent of the state's bridges are deficient.

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  • by Fed UP!!!!! Location: on the road on Jul 9, 2009 at 05:53 AM
    It does not matter that we are poorest state in the union and pay the most taxes. I have to tighten my belt when the money is not there so why can't the state do the same. Everywhere I look someone is screaming for higher taxes, when my gas bill is eating most of my budget just to get to work. I can not demand a raise in pay when I go over budget.
  • by voter Location: meridian on Jul 8, 2009 at 02:20 PM
    Mr. Brown needs to concentrate on the waste of the taxes already being paid. Proposing more taxes now is absurd. Isn't mississipi in bad enough financial shape with the current economy? Just because the cost of fuel goes up does not mean you propose more of a burden on the tax payers. Maybe Mr. Brown needs a new job, it sounds like he is not looking after the best interest of the citizens and tax payers. Stop the waste and be more efficent.
  • by Tired of Tax Hikes! Location: Meridian on Jul 8, 2009 at 01:54 PM
    Can someone PLEASE tell me where all our current tax money is going? In particular, where does all the revenue from car tags, inspection stickers, etc go?! We have some of the highest prices on car tags and yet the MDOT director says we cannot fund the needs to repair/improve our roads and bridges? I don't buy it! I would love to see a break down of how every state program/agency/etc is funded via our tax dollars. Any such thing somewhere?
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