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Senator’s plan to raise taxes for transportation maintenance

Dean Kirby

Mississippi residents could vote on a state lawmaker’s plan that would raise taxes and fees to pay for needed renovations to roads and bridges.

Mississippi Central District Transportation Commissioner Dick Hall on Monday announced the bill Republican state Sen. Dean Kirby of Pearl plans to introduce next year, The Clarion-Ledger reports .

Kirby’s plan is in draft phase and includes a statewide referendum, annual fees of $150 on electric cars and $75 on hybrid cars, and adding roughly 1.5 cents to Mississippi’s fuel tax of 18.4 cents a gallon. His plan would also place a $2.50 fee per car tire.

Kirby’s legislation would allow residents to say “yes” or “no” to his plan and view a list of projects the money would fund in each of Mississippi’s three transportation districts. A successful referendum in Georgia gave him the idea, Kirby said, as he believes there is no way lawmakers will pass a fuel tax increase.

Kirby has not yet run his plan by others in the Republican Senate leadership, he said, including Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves, who has been opposed to any tax increase for roads and bridges, or anything else.

Mississippi needs at least an additional $400 million each year in state funding for transportation maintenance, Hall said.

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