Mississippi Governor Against Higher Gas Taxes

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(Horn Lake, MS) Fadi Salameh's gas station has some of the lowest gas prices around, but he says not a day goes by that a customer doesn’t complain about the high price of gas these days, ”Always complaining, especially when it goes over three dollars. Yeah, it’s very high right now."

So high even he’s not making much off a gallon of gas, but some state lawmakers want to up their take past the current 32 cents or so a gallon, in the name of better roads.

The head of the House Transportation Committee wants to raise gas taxes about 385 million dollars a year to pay for road repairs, but Governor Phil Bryant insists a gas tax is not the way to do it.

Bryant calls it a job killer, one that could cause business owners to have to let workers go, to help pay an extra tax that won’t go up and down like the price of gas, ”A lot of people in Mississippi drive 50 or 60 miles to a job, both ways. So you’ve got to spend 70 dollars a day, goin’ and we’re gonna add to that? I’m not gonna do that as Governor."

The Governor says he’d explore toll roads, and even move more freight off of truck and onto underutilized rail lines before he’d even consider a gas tax.

He’s has lots of support for that position.

”Totally against it. I think they could come up with other ways to do that. They got plenty of ways to generate money to fix the roads up,” said John Masters.

It looks like we’re safe for this year. A bill to raise gas taxes recently died in the legislature.