Mississippi road money push hits likely pothole

Published: Dec. 29, 2016 at 6:12 PM CST
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A year after an effort to increase gasoline and diesel taxes to spend more on transportation stalled, Mississippi legislative leaders say chances are slim again in 2017.

Enacting any tax increase takes a three-fifths majority. Although the GOP holds that margin in both the House and Senate, some Republicans flatly oppose raising any taxes.

Mississippi Economic Council, the state chamber of commerce, advocates another $375 million a year for highways and bridges, saying most money should come from higher taxes on fuel or vehicle licenses.

Of that, $300 million would go to the Mississippi Department of Transportation. The remaining $75 million would be divided among cities and counties.

The department has said it needs even more, $526 million a year, just to prevent further deterioration.

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