House leadership makes new effort to fund transportation

The House leadership has revived a plan, though more modest than the original, to divert a 7 percent tax on items sold by online retailers to a program to repair the state’s roads and bridges.

The legislation, passed 109-7 by the House on Thursday, would generate between $50 million and $70 million annually for what various groups are calling badly needed work on roads and bridges, both those maintained by the state and those maintained locally. The plan also would provide $50 million in bonds to pay for repairs to subpar local bridges.

“This is not a perfect plan, but it is more than nothing,” said House Ways and Means Vice Chairman Trey Lamar, R-Senatobia. Lamar and Ways and Means Chairman Jeff Smith, R-Columbus, amended a Senate bill dealing with income dividend tax from other states to include the internet tax collections and bond language.

Daily Journal
3/9/17