A Mississippi state lawmaker is pushing legislation that
would create tolls along some roads and bridges in the state. The proposal is
intended to give the state another tool to raise revenue during a tight budget
A similar bill passed the state Senate last year, but died
in the House.
The bill, introduced by Sen. Charlie Ross, R-Brandon,
authorizes the Mississippi Transportation Commission, county boards of
supervisors and governing boards of municipalities to contract with private
industry to construct roads and bridges and collect tolls to pay off the
Central District Transportation Commissioner Dick Hall, a
bill supporter, told The Clarion-Ledger he cannot predict at this stage
how much the tolls would generate in Mississippi.
“It depends on the project; then you can work up the cost,”
Hall said he expected criticism. Some Mississippians think
they pay enough in taxes for roads and bridges, he said.
But Hall said tolls would be a good way to raise revenue for
road and bridge improvements where budgets are lean.
He didn’t pinpoint any specific areas to erect tollbooths.
SB2063 will go before the Senate Highways and Transportation
“Anything having to do with taxations, tolls or fee
increases will be looked at real hard by both houses,” Sen. Ed Morgan,
R-Hattiesburg, vice chairman of the Senate highway panel, told the newspaper.
“It will be a tough road this year.”