Geoff Pender: Talk of tax raising questions about MDOT

Never was a proposal more dead on arrival than Senate Transportation Chairman Willie Simmons’ $700 million in tax increases to fund highway maintenance, and other stuff.

If such sweeping tax increases were to pass in the Republican-led 2014 Mississippi Legislature, I’ll eat a print copy of this column.

Now, it should be noted that Simmons, who’s heading up a task force looking into what transportation officials say is a shortfall of hundreds of millions of dollars a year in maintenance funds, said he just threw his proposal out there to get the ball rolling, get a conversation started.

It did. But probably not the conversation he wanted. And it appears it might hamper any real consideration of more modest tax hikes to fund road maintenance.

Clarion Ledger
8/17/13