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Taxing Gas for Roads, Not Popular with Republican MS Senators

JACKSON, Miss. – There is no question about it; some of Mississippi’s roads are looking pretty rough. Last week Senate Transportation Chairman Willie Simmons suggested increasing taxes on gas, utilities, and car tags, which would raise about $700 million for new roads. Members of the Senate Conservative Coalition say they do not want to be part of that.

“If you touch something like gasoline which fuels the transportation and delivery of products, goods, and services.  Everything is going up, does it not? What kind of issues does that create later?” said Coalition Chair, Senator Chris McDaniel.

McDaniel’s proposal is to prioritize safety related needs, because he says the budget is large enough to make those improvements. He also wants to focus savings so the transportation commission can focus on long-term goals. Which means not anytime soon. Lastly if there is not money for savings and serious infrastructure repair is needed, he suggests bonding.

“We shouldn’t be limping thought this with a tax increase, we should make the tough decisions now, feel the pain if we have to, and prepare for the future. That’s not supposed to be popular, you understand?”

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