Mississippi business groups want more information on raising taxes for roads

Business groups still aren’t ready to raise Mississippi’s taxes to repair and build highways and bridges.

In August, Senate Transportation Committee Chairman Willie Simmons, D-Cleveland, proposed a $700 million menu of taxes and asked other members of a study committee examining road needs to offer their own alternative revenue and spending plans. Highway officials say the state needs hundreds of millions of dollars a year to repair existing roads and bridges and to build new ones.

In responses discussed at a Wednesday meeting of the study panel, the Mississippi Manufacturers Association, the Mississippi Trucking Association, gas station owners and farm groups all say they want further study of the efficiency of the Mississippi Department of Transportation as well as a look at how it picks projects before discussing more revenue.