Legislators talk gas tax increase to repair roads, bridges

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) – The heads of the Mississippi Legislature’s transportation committee are considering raising the gas tax to maintain the state’s highways and bridges.

The joint House-Senate committee heard a presentation from the Mississippi Economic Council Thursday that called for $375 million a year to meet the repair needs. The committee heard from state transportation head Melinda McGrath earlier this month. She called for $526 million more a year to repair more than one-third of highways and nearly one-fourth of bridges in the state.

Committee Chairmen Willie Simmons of Cleveland and Charles Busby of Pascagoula say that a small tax increase outweighs the costs of doing nothing to repair the roads.

They say a gas tax would place a reasonable burden on those who use the roads and highways the most.