Even though it has been a month since the 2018 legislative session wrapped, there has been no call for a special session and no consensus from House and Senate leaders to put forward a plan to fix our roads and bridges. Leaders are more concerned about the next election, rather than doing what is right for all of us who travel our deteriorating roads and detour around closed bridges.
For state leaders who are unwilling to take the necessary steps to fix our roads, they should look at the results of a recent Mason Dixon poll commissioned by the Mississippi Road Builders Association.
The polling results show 84 percent of likely voters believe it is the legislature’s responsibility to come up with a long-term solution. Two thirds of voters see raising the fuel tax as a viable solution.
The release says lawmakers in 26 states have voted to adjust the fuel tax since 2013 and Mississippi now has the fourth lowest in the nation. However, the decision in those states to increase the tax has had insignificant impact at the ballot box. South Carolina, a state very similar to Mississippi, passed legislation last year to increase its fuel tax. The first increase since 1987. Republican leaders there put the people first.
It’s time for Mississippi leaders to fix our roads and bridges.
A fuel tax is the best way to fund the repairs, where the people who travel those roads and bridges pay to keep them in good condition. Instead of playing politics, start showing leadership. Research shows an increased fuel tax will not affect the next election.
If leaders continue their political games, that, however, is a great reason to make sure they no longer represent the people of Mississippi.
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