State's gas tax may increase

Mississippi's gas taxes may go up.

Southern District Transportation Commissioner Wayne Brown said a study is underway to determine if the 18 percent gas tax should be raised, and if so by how much.

Brown said rising costs have cut MDOT's purchasing power by one third and caused the agency to push back some projects.

Brown said people will end up paying more either at the pump, or by sitting at an increasing number of signal lights MDOT is having to put up as roads become more congested.

The rising prices of materials like asphalt make building new roads extremely expensive, according to Brown. He added the state will become one that maintains rather than builds roads unless MDOT receives more funding.

The state fuel tax has been at 18 percent since 1987.