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Plan would send more tax money to cities for roads, water

(Craig Ford)

Cities would receive a slightly larger share of Mississippi sales tax collections under a plan that lawmakers are debating.

Posted: Feb 8, 2018 10:40 AM

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Cities would receive a slightly larger share of Mississippi sales tax collections under a plan that lawmakers are debating.

Senators voted 42-9 Wednesday to pass Senate Bill 2455 . It would require cities to spend the extra money on infrastructure projects such as roads, bridges and water and sewer lines. The bill goes to the House for more work.

"I think we'll be putting a few more people to work. We'll be creating a few more jobs in each and every one of our cities," said Republican Sen. David Parker of Olive Branch, the bill's main author.

The money would go to municipal governments only if Mississippi sales tax collections increase at least 1 percent a year. When fully in place, the plan would divide an extra $40 million a year among cities.

Opponents said that is not enough money to make a big difference in the expensive problems with crumbling roads and broken water lines.

"Can we please just dispense with the fantasy that this Legislature is doing something for infrastructure?" said Democratic Sen. David Blount of Jackson.

Republican Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves said in a statement that sending money to cities is part of a larger plan to deal with infrastructure in the state.

"Maintaining infrastructure is a core function of government, and proper upkeep of roads, bridges and water and sewer systems requires continued investment," Reeves said.

Reeves and other Senate leaders have not proposed a long-term plan this year to put more money into state highways and bridges, though the state chamber of commerce, the Mississippi Economic Council, has said for years that improving infrastructure is one of the top needs for development. This is the third year of legislators' four-year term.

"It is the single greatest failure of this term of the Legislature that we were not able to come together in a bipartisan way and deal with our infrastructure problems ... We all know it's a state crisis," Blount said.

House leaders are proposing a plan that would reduce income taxes in exchange for higher fuel taxes to raise money for roads and bridges. House Transportation Committee Chairman Charles Busby, a Pascagoula Republican, said last week that the plan could phase out the state's 4 percent income tax bracket, which applies to yearly incomes between $5,001 and $10,000. In exchange, Busby said lawmakers would impose an additional 12-cent-per-gallon tax on gasoline and 15-cent tax on diesel, phasing it in over four years as the income tax is phased out.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 144544

Reported Deaths: 3729
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto963299
Hinds9584195
Harrison6848109
Jackson6124118
Rankin528598
Lee484295
Madison4633105
Forrest368186
Jones345287
Lauderdale3350143
Lafayette315049
Washington3097107
Lamar281849
Oktibbeha239261
Bolivar239083
Lowndes228863
Neshoba2164115
Panola211749
Marshall208350
Leflore200890
Pontotoc194728
Monroe190277
Sunflower189755
Lincoln186165
Warren172257
Tate164251
Union160925
Pike160458
Copiah158940
Yazoo151239
Scott150229
Itawamba147634
Coahoma147443
Pearl River144467
Simpson144253
Alcorn143925
Prentiss140429
Grenada136945
Adams136548
Leake131843
Holmes124961
George122224
Tippah121530
Covington117636
Winston116624
Wayne115823
Hancock114139
Marion111046
Attala107833
Tishomingo106142
Newton102729
Chickasaw102432
Tallahatchie95527
Clarke88553
Clay87027
Jasper81122
Walthall75028
Stone72414
Montgomery71925
Calhoun71613
Carroll70614
Lawrence70214
Yalobusha69427
Noxubee69217
Smith68816
Perry65225
Tunica59619
Greene58422
Claiborne57416
Jefferson Davis54217
Humphreys52618
Amite51214
Benton48417
Quitman4796
Webster42014
Kemper40917
Wilkinson38622
Jefferson33811
Franklin3235
Choctaw3077
Sharkey30617
Issaquena1114
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 236865

Reported Deaths: 3472
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson31043491
Mobile19446360
Tuscaloosa12684150
Madison12528146
Montgomery12122235
Shelby992276
Baldwin837684
Lee759765
Morgan626247
Calhoun6049113
Etowah600564
Marshall596153
Houston510838
DeKalb469635
Cullman421136
Limestone408844
St. Clair403955
Elmore398961
Lauderdale387253
Walker356199
Talladega339044
Jackson302524
Colbert297641
Blount282236
Autauga266139
Franklin246233
Coffee236615
Dale228454
Dallas222331
Russell21923
Chilton218537
Covington215933
Escambia196931
Tallapoosa171790
Chambers171448
Pike156014
Clarke155319
Marion135535
Winston126623
Lawrence123936
Geneva11848
Pickens117618
Marengo117424
Barbour116710
Bibb115717
Butler114341
Randolph100321
Cherokee99624
Hale93231
Washington89918
Clay89623
Fayette86216
Henry8436
Lowndes78929
Monroe77911
Cleburne75614
Macon71720
Crenshaw70330
Bullock69019
Conecuh68214
Perry6726
Lamar6337
Wilcox62818
Sumter56222
Choctaw41813
Greene41317
Coosa3144
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