Parker Legislation Would Boost Local Infrastructure Funding
A bi-partisan bill (SB 2146) introduced by Senator David Parker (R-Olive Branch) would increase infrastructure funding for municipalities by $42 million statewide after a three-year phase-in. The plan would not increase taxes, but would increase the share of sales tax already collected to be retained by the municipality. Towns and cities would keep an additional half-percent of sales tax collected, increased each year for the next three years from the current 18.5 percent to 20 percent to benefit roads, bridges, water and sewer and other local infrastructure projects.
“We have infrastructure needs in our communities and this is a conservative approach to solving those challenges. Local governments know better how to address their priorities than the state, and this increase in funds would allow them to make local decisions on how best to use it: whether as a supplement to their budget, or using the increase toward a bonding measure for major infrastructure projects,” Parker said.
Fellow DeSoto County senators Chris Massey and Kevin Blackwell have co-sponsored Parker’s plan.
Currently, Olive Branch retains $8.2 million in sales tax a year. Parker’s proposal would increase that amount to $8.6 million, $8.8 million and $9 million over the next three years. Southaven would see its share increase from $12.9 million to $14.3 million. Hernando currently retains $2.9 million which would escalate to $3.2 million. Horn Lake’s revenue would increase from $3.9 million to $4.3 million and funding for Walls would reach $67,353 up from $61,080. (All numbers calculated by the Department of Revenue based on FY2014 actuals increased for 2% growth factor.)
“This increase in funding to municipalities isn’t an answer to all their infrastructure problems,” Parker said, “but infrastructure is a long term challenge and this provides a long time budget increase.”
Sixteen other senators are original co-sponsors of SB2146: Tommy Gollott (R-Biloxi), Derrick Simmons (D-Greenville), Philip Moran (R-Kiln), Rita Parks (R-Corinth), Sally Doty (R-Brookhaven), Michael Watson (R-Pascagoula), Chris Caughman (R-Mendenhall), Chad McMahan (R-Guntown), Joseph Seymour (R-Ocean Springs), Bill Stone (D-Holly Springs), Juan Barnett (D-Heidelberg), Brice Wiggins (R-Pascagoula), Dennis DeBar (R-Leakesville), Charles Younger (R-Columbus), Sean Tindell (R-Gulfport), and Tammy Witherspoon (D-McComb).
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