Streets continue to crumble as cities’ collections from fuel taxes have remained flat since 1987, said Pelahatchie Mayor Knox Ross, a member of the Mississippi Municipal League.
Ross represented MML recently before a state Senate transportation task force, urging a multijurisdictional approach to generate more revenue for maintaining city streets and roads.
Ross said that the 1987 Highway Program provided cities with a total of $13.5 million a year from the state fuel tax for street maintenance.
“Today, cities are getting that same $13.5 million,” Ross said.
Ross also chairs the Jackson Urbanized Area Metropolitan Planning Organization Board, made up of local elected officials and other community leaders in Hinds, Madison and Rankin counties.
The organization helps make long-range transportation plans and determine how federal transportation improvement funds will be spent.
Ross said cities must have a steady stream of revenue just to fix and maintain roads they now have. He said there is no way cities could raise the taxes needed to adequately maintain streets.
“We would be run out of town,” Ross said. “There has to be a multijurisdictional approach to solving the problem.”