JACKSON, Miss. — Gas prices are high as it is, and there is talk of hiking the fuel tax to raise money to pay for maintenance on Mississippi’s highways and bridges.
You’ve been saying on our News Mississippi Facebook page that lawmakers apparently have not been properly using the gas tax you already pay. We asked Senate Highways and Transportation Chair Willie Simmons, (D) Cleveland, about it. “No, I don’t see it as being that way. But, there are a lot of questions about it. So anything we propose to do, we gonna talk about transparency, accountability.”
Simmons says right now the buck of the money the state gets for its roadways comes from the federal government and not the gas tax. “Folks go to the tank know and they are spending more for gas. But we’re not receiving any more money. That money goes to the oil companies. So we think we have done a good job managing it. But again, to give assurance to the public that we are going to be responsible, we are going to make sure that accountability and transparence is in place and that the money is expended for the reason it’s generated for.”
Simmons says a gas tax hike is an option, but it’s not the only one on the table. Other possible ways to come up with the money will be discussed next week.