The House and Senate are digging in their heels on how to fix Mississippi's roads and bridges. MPB's Mark Rigsby reports.
House Speaker Philip Gunn officially unveiled a new, $300 million infrastructure improvement plan on Thursday. He says the part of the plan calls for a "tax swap", by eliminating the 4% tax bracket, and increasing the gas tax 8 cents a gallon. The tax swap would be phased in over four years.
"There's no good policy reason that I can think as to why this plan doesn't work."
But Lieutenant Governor Tate Reeves says he's opposed to raising the gas tax. Negotiations over infrastructure funding between the House and Senate broke down at the end of the past legislative session. Lawmakers disagreed on where the money would come from. This week, Governor Phil Bryant ordered more than 100 local bridges to be shut down due to critical safety concerns. This comes after the U.S. Department of Transportation threatened to pull federal dollars.
"The Speaker and the Lieutenant Governor need to work together. They have been working together. And get close to a common agreement that their members will vote for. We need to find a solution to this. That's what leaders do."
Representative Jay Hughes, a Democrat from Oxford, says rolling back corporate tax cuts would help solve the funding problem.
"To me, this is a political ploy, is all it is. Quite frankly, it's a pretty word for Republican tax increase against the people, to protect the corporation tax cuts."
The Governor says both sides should be prepared to come together before he decides to call a special session.