Taxes, roads loom in Miss. budget review

House Speaker Philip Gunn, R-Clinton, and Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves have made comments about shifting from taxing income to taxing consumption.

Such a shift could make poor- and middle-class Mississippians pay for a larger share of state services while easing the tax burden on the highest earners. But Gunn also talks about wanting “a more solid stream of revenue.” In a world where gasoline demand has never recovered from the recession and weakness in sales tax collections is one indicator of the shift of purchases to internet retailers, Mississippi’s existing consumption taxes could produce less revenue over the long term….

…There’s certainly an effort to build support for more highway spending. After many Republicans balked at raising fuel taxes for roads last year, House Transportation Committee Chairman Charles Busby, R-Pascagoula, and Mississippi Department of Transportation leaders are giving a series of tours to lawmakers statewide to show off the underbelly of the state highway system — from aging bridges that are concrete on top and wooden below — to potholed and patched asphalt, to places where landslides have threatened interstates. MDOT chronicled July 19 and July 20 trips on its Twitter account, and Busby said more are planned around the state.

Clarion Ledger
7/31/16