Bill to use tolls as new revenue source dies in Mississippi

| 3/10/2006

An effort has died in Mississippi that sought to create tolls along some roads and bridges in the state.

The bill remained in the House Transportation Committee at the deadline for Senate bills to advance to the full House. It passed the Senate in February.

Sponsored by Sen. Charlie Ross, R-Brandon, the bill authorized the Mississippi Transportation Commission, county boards of supervisors and city officials to contract with private industry to construct roads and bridges and collect tolls to pay off the work.

The bill – SB2171 – didn’t spell out specific toll charges. That would have been determined by MDOT.

Ross’ effort would have required 20 percent of a county’s electorate or 1,500 voters, whichever is less, to call for a referendum on any project.

It also would have mandated that alternative routes be available so drivers could avoid paying the tolls. Once the bonds for a project were paid off, that toll would have been removed.