In the Mississippi Legislature in the 2016 session, early hopes abounded for a “tax swap” of sorts — a cut of some taxes in exchange for an increase in state fuel taxes. But lingering state revenue shortfalls closed that political window of opportunity. Those shortfalls continue today…
…The Legislature saw competing bills flounder as both the Senate and House looked to the other chamber to blink first on compromise bills, but in the end it was the “no-new-tax” pledges that many lawmakers made during their legislative campaigns that doomed lucid consideration of an appropriate highway funding mechanism through the state’s now-antiquated gas tax.
Will the politics change in 2017? Who knows? But the certainty is that the state’s highways and bridges will continue an inexorable deterioration without some renewed attention.