Could a gas tax be the answer to fix Mississippi roads and bridges?
Central District Transportation Commissioner Dick Hall says yes, and adds the economy will boom from it.
Thousands of drivers take to the Mississippi roadways every year— and with the state’s continued crumbling infrastructure—some argue it’s time for an increase in the fuel tax or the problems will get worse.
It was 32 years ago when then State Senator Hall and others passed a gas tax increase.
“What we did in 87 it turned the economy in Mississippi around, and we got to do it again and the way to finance that is the fuel tax,” said Hall.
The current usage tax for Mississippians is 18.4 cents per gallon less than our neighbors
“Tennessee, Alabama and Arkansas have all increased their fuel tax in the last three years why do we have to wait always wait somebody else’s everybody else to do it before we get around to doing it ? I’ll tell you why because of a lack of leadership doing it.”
Commissioner Hall says a good and sustainable highway program goes hand in hand to a flourishing economy, Hall argues the brain drain is resulting from poor infrastructure
“ Young people under the age of 40 with a college degree they’re going to where the jobs are, and they’re not here and if we’re ever going to do that we got to go back to where we did it in 87 and I will argue then with anyone that, that fuel tax increase that we did in 1987 was the number one economic development event in this state in the last half century,” said Hall.
With primary elections a few weeks away he has a message for voters.
“And that’s why these elections this time and I don’t get too political with this but that why these elections are going to be so imperative,” said Hall.
Alaska, Oklahoma and Missouri are the only states where the gas tax is lower than Mississippi’