M.O.S.T. seems dead for this year
March 30, 2004
Absent some last-second maneuvering, the Mississippi Optional Sales Tax proposal seems doomed this year. As a Wednesday deadline nears, most legislators seem willing to work within the political parameters they set for themselves in last year's elections namely, not to increase the already too heavy tax load on Mississippians. At least not in 2004.
M.O.S.T. would have allowed cities and counties to raise the sales tax by three-quarters of a percent above the base 7 percent for specific projects. The optional tax could be used to fund water and sewer projects, street improvements and other things. Meridian officials support the proposal.
Sounds good, huh?
Well, the truth is that here in Meridian, city officials already have $6 million of borrowed money in the bank, money they got seven months ago and, incredibly, are still not prepared to spend on street repairs. Trying to pile on an additional tax load seems especially onerous as the asinine excuses for not paving streets grow increasingly shrill and continue to defy logic.
The way to get the most in Meridian is to start paving streets with the money in hand, not raise new taxes. And that, dear reader, is the bottom line.