GEOFF PENDER: Business leaders push taxes for crumbling roads

My polling data consists of one, but I believe a growing number of Mississippians, and lawmakers, are willing to at least entertain tax talk for infrastructure. But is this enough to overcome those who would oppose any tax increase of any sort? I don’t know. Apparently we will see over the next few months as the Legislature comes back into session. There are a lot of new lawmakers who wouldn’t relish a tax increase being their opening act. And there are a lot of veteran legislative leaders who have vowed for years to cut taxes, not raise them.

Whether anything comes to pass I believe will rest primarily on how hard state business leaders push for it. They are the only constituency that could move the road funding issue off the dime. But at the least we will see the first discussion of a major tax increase since the 50-cents-a-pack cigarette tax hike of 2009 and the first major tax increase for anyone other than smokers since the 1-cent sales tax increase for schools in 1992.

The devil will be in the details — who’s taxed and how.