JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – A report by State Auditor Shad White showed the costs taxpayers will bear after inflation increased the cost of items government agencies purchase.
According to officials with the State Auditor’s Office, the purpose of the report is to alert policymakers to the cost of inflation on government spending and to help public officials more effectively plan future budgets by anticipating these costs.
The report showed that increased fuel prices have cost the Mississippi Department of Public Safety (DPS) up to $750,000 in 2022. Officials with White’s office said law enforcement agencies may be forced to cut patrols in the future if gas prices remain high.
The report also said as roadbuilding supplies like asphalt and drainage pipes become more expensive, the Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) may not be able to complete all its scheduled projects at their original budgeted costs.
Additionally, with electricity prices spiking, the cost for the Mississippi Department of Corrections MDOC) to house inmates has increased dramatically. Taxpayers will foot the bill for meal programs in schools and prisons as food prices rise.
The report states the buying power of the dollar has dropped 13% since January 2020. It concludes by stating, “Policymakers should consider this report and the expected price of future inflation when writing budgets and planning projects for the foreseeable future.”