Petal, Miss. – Funds to fix local roads and bridges in disrepair would receive a boost under a plan detailed today by Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann, who is running for Lieutenant Governor. Hosemann discussed the plan at Dunn Roadbuilders in Petal.
Hosemann’s proposal would allow voters in a county to opt to implement a user fee on gasoline and diesel from two to six cents per gallon for roads and bridges in their communities. Money generated by the fee would be in addition to funds already received for local infrastructure.
Under the plan, a majority of county supervisors would vote to place the local option on the next General Election ballot. The option would specify to voters the projects that funds would be allocated toward, and the fee increase would sunset after those projects were completed.
“Right now, we have more than 420 local bridges closed due to disrepair. Our counties and communities need solutions, and this proposal puts the power in the hands of the voters, where it belongs,” Hosemann said. “Mississippi should be run from the counties and not in the Capitol.”
Under the plan, all of the money generated by a local option would go directly to the county to be shared with municipalities, without any reduction from the State, for repair and maintenance on existing roads and bridges. Funds could not be used for equipment, new construction, salaries, or other costs. They also could not be used to reduce current county road and bridge expenditures.
A bill passed during the 2018 Special Session, the Mississippi Infrastructure Modernization Act, addressed some concerns, but more funds are needed to ease infrastructure woes. Other states have successfully implemented a local option user fee on gasoline.
For more information about Hosemann’s campaign for Lieutenant Governor, visit www.delberthosemann.com.