/Dems push $400M roads plan

Dems push $400M roads plan

Rep. David Baria (D-Bay St. Louis), who presented the Democrat plan to Mississippi Today, stated that raising the rainy-fund from 2 % of the budget up to 3 % would generate approximately $180 million. Baria did not specify which tax-cut programs the Democrats would be targeting. Rep. Charles Busby (R-Pascagoula), who chairs the House Transportation Committee said he was open for the Democrats to present their plan, but that the state should not abandon its commitments to businesses that were offered tax incentives to move to Mississippi. Busby stated that he doesn’t believe we can promise tax incentives to businesses and then back off on our promises. According to the Mississippi Economic Council, $375 million is needed each year to repair roads and bridges in Mississippi. The report suggests that $300 million be used to repair bridges and roads owned by the state, while municipalities and counties split the rest. Since the start of the current legislative session, lobbyists and legislators have discussed raising gas taxes to fund roads. Baria stated that the Democratic plan would not include any gas tax increases. He stated that “We would love to do this without increasing taxes at the pumps on those who are least able to afford increased taxes.” Baria stated that Democrats were working on a plan after being shut out of negotiations, and they have yet to see a plan from the House Republicans. After hours of debate in March, the Senate passed a transportation bill. However, critics referred to it as a dummy bill and could be amended later in the session. Baria stated that Democrats will present the road plan to the Mississippi Department of Transportation officials and the MEC in the early part of next week. To support this important work, you can make a regular donation to our Spring Member Drive today. Our reporters give a human face to policy’s impact on everyday Mississippians by listening more closely and understanding their communities. To ensure that our work is aligned with the priorities and needs of all Mississippians, we are listening to you. Click the button below to let us know what you think.