For too long the state and federal governments have either cut spending to local governments or required new spending without allocating any funds for it. That allows politicians at those higher-up levels to brag on themselves without having to bite the bullet and face the on-the-ground consequences.
One such area affected by this attitude is road and bridge spending. State politicians have made rash vows to out-of-state interest groups to never raise taxes, regardless of how much the circumstances dictate them. Because of that, the state is not spending nearly enough to maintain its highways and bridges as the legislature ignores pleas for a higher gas tax.
Rather than truly keeping taxes flat, the result has been local governments being forced to either raise property taxes or make drastic cuts in other areas. This is at a time when Mississippi’s economic growth has been flat for a decade, leaving little wiggle room for either local governments or the businesses and individuals who fund their operations.
The Marion County Board of Supervisors, therefore, is wise to voice support for raising the gas tax. That would be more fair than raising property taxes because everyone who drives on the roads, including people not from Marion County, would pay for them. Such support for a gas tax hike at the grassroots level bodes well for 2019 finally being the year the solons in Jackson take actions.
— Charlie Smith