OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - Would you like to drive on better highways in Mississippi? If the answer is yes, you may have to pay for it.
For 27 years, we have paid 18.8 cents a gallon in gasoline taxes. But some state leaders are saying an increase is needed to maintain our roads. Proposals range from a few cents up to a dime a gallon. Any amount would bring in millions.
But is an increase really needed? Talk to driver Jason Sward.
"The main thoroughfares, the interstate, they are in pretty good shape. It's our secondary roads that are really in bad shape," Sward said.
Some, like Melissa Perez, wouldn't mind a tax hike.
"I'm okay with a raise in tax to help the infrastructure for the state. And we've got a lot of roads here locally that that really could use some resurfacing," Perez said.
John Wickham is another driver that wouldn't mind digging deeper into his pocket.
"The roads that we have in Mississippi are in dire need of being fixed, and I think that if that's all it takes to fix the roads, it's well worth the investment," Wickham said.
Others, like Rufus Boswell, don't agree.
"I think we're overtaxed the way it is right now, without raising any taxes," Boswell said.
"Finally, gas is low. You'd think they would like to keep it low for the economy," Peter Kuluz said. "You'd think they would have some of that money saved away to fix the roads. But if they have to raise it, they have to raise it."
While most of the people I talked with felt strongly, either for or against the gas tax increase proposal, some were simply just caught right in the middle. Put Andrea Gormely in that camp.
"I think we do need a lot of work on our roads, so I think the tax would actually help quite a bit with that. However, I'm liking the very cheap gas, the $2.02 a gallon, so I don't know. It would be tough to raise it," Gormely explained.
Other drivers, like Michael Burkes, are looking at the big picture.
"Well, I would think it would help a little bit, because we would have better roads and we'll save gas on those better roads. It's something we could deal with."
While no actual bill has been filed dealing with a possible gas tax increase, it is sure to be a topic of conversation with the legislature convenes early next month.