Senate Passes $1 Billion BRIDGE Act Including Parker Plan for Local Infrastructure

Parker’s plan would increase the sales tax dollars returned to local governments from the state to aid local infrastructure projects

JACKSON (February 20, 2018) – Today the Mississippi Senate passed the “Building Roads. Improving Development. Growing the Economy” BRIDGE Act (SB3046) on a 36-14 vote. The BRIDGE Act provides more than $1 billion toward city, county and state infrastructure projects including roads, bridges, dams, water/wastewater, railroads and additional needs.

The BRIDGE Act also incorporates Senator David Parker’s (R-Olive Branch) plan to increase the amount of sales tax dollars returned to local governments by the state for the purpose of infrastructure. Parker’s measure (SB2455) previously passed the Senate on February 7 on a vote of 42-9. This is the third year Parker has introduced the measure.

Parker said:

“Today I was happy to vote for and speak on behalf of Senate Bill 3046 known as the Bridge Act.  This bill seeks to provide an ongoing solution to infrastructure needs including roads and bridges in the state of Mississippi.”

“Over the past three years, I have worked to get more money back to our cities and counties for the repair of roads.  This year I introduced Senate Bill 2455 to incrementally divert more money back to our cities for this purpose.  This bill has passed the Senate and was sent to the house for consideration.  I am pleased to announce that the same language from Senate bill 2455 was inserted into the Bridge Act.  As a result there are now two vehicles alive that could lead to this greatly demonstrated need being addressed.”

“In addition to millions for our cities, the bill includes specific appropriations to help provide assistance to Holly Springs Road and includes grant assistance for partnerships between cities and counties with oversight from the Mississippi Development Authority.”

“I have met and discussed the desire for any plan by the state to meet the requirements of a federal infrastructure plan which is currently under consideration in Washington, DC.  This bill has the framework to do so by requiring matching funds to be allocated to specific accounts to allow the necessary accounting for any potential federal match.”

“My plan for local infrastructure improvements will increase the diversion of sales taxes from the state to local governments from the existing 18.5% to the desired 20% at full implementation. This increase will be deposited into a special fund at the state treasury and available when the city makes a matching deposit for infrastructure.  By using this fund, a city could effectively double their infrastructure dollars.  This program will benefit every city in the state and provide ongoing funding to help meet these needs year after year. To be fiscally responsible, the diversion will require state sales tax growth of 1% for incremental implementation.”

“The BRIDGE Act will also address our immediate state road needs via state set aside of revenue for bonding purposes, and will implement new requirements for the Mississippi Department of Transportation.”

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