Research waste and fraud rather than taxBy VANCE COX,
Re: Raise gas tax while price remains low
In response to another request from the media to raise the gas tax, here are a few statistics to ponder.
In most recent data reported to the Federal government from MDOT, Mississippi state owned roads rank 8th in the nation for quality.
According to the Reason Foundation’s 21st Annual Highway Report, MDOT spends $99,493 per state-controlled mile. This is good for 15th in the nation. Other Southeastern states that spend less include South Carolina ($39,403), West Virginia ($39,883), North Carolina ($52,282), Virginia ($70,017), Kentucky ($70,566) and Arkansas ($72,796).
Mississippi is the second highest tax burdened state in the South East behind West Virginia. Maybe your statement about people leaving our state for more prosperous states should be focused on lowering our tax burden instead of increasing it. In 2016 more than 500,000 people moved from the top 25 highest tax burdened states to the 25 lowest burdened states. If we want to entice our future college graduates to stay in state, maybe we should be looking to lower taxes instead of increasing them.
You are correct in your statement “Mississippi voters are not dumb”. In polling data from 2016, 86 percent of respondents said they oppose a gas tax increase. I also agree that use taxes are a fairer way to tax citizens, but a gas tax puts a much heavier burden on the working poor that are scrapping up change to fill their cars up with gas even with the lower prices.
Lastly, instead of looking to squeeze more money from hard working Mississippians every time a government agency says they need more, how bout we do a little research into the waste and fraud of said agency.