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Lawmakers consider tax increases for transportation repairs

JACKSON — House Transportation Committee Chairman Charles Busby says he’ll consider tax increases to raise money for the state’s transportation system.

Transportation head Melinda McGrath told legislators Wednesday the department needs $526 million more to repair more than one-third of highways and more than one-fifth of bridges in the state. She said costs for the repairs will only increase as long as repairs are delayed. McGrath asked legislators for at least $100 million each year for the next five years.

Busby says he’ll bring a proposal to help raise the money in the coming weeks. He said he’ll consider tax increases as long as the money goes toward specific projects that need immediate repairs.

He says the cost of doing nothing is much greater than the cost of taking action now.

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