John Howell Sr. Editorial 12/13/2013

Published 12:00 am Friday, December 13, 2013

Taxes come from same pocket, only difference hand reaching into it

Language giving the duty of investigating accidents on the portions of I-55 that lie within corporate limits has been on the books since 1972. So why is the Mississippi Highway Patrol aggressively pushing those duties to the local police departments now?

Follow the money. Or the lack of it.

The fiscal 2015 appropriation for the Department of Public Safety looks skimpy. The governor has proposed a budget that would include a new trooper school but little more. The lieutenant governor’s budget does not even allow that.

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So the Department of Public Safety is pushing the accident investigation responsibility on down to municipalities because there are simply not enough state troopers out there.

 That will mean increased costs for equipment and manpower for Batesville, Sardis, Como and other Mississippi municipalities. That increased cost will, of course, be passed on to taxpayers.

 Remember this in 2015 when the current crop of state politicians come around seeking re-election or promotion and bragging about keeping the state budget in line without increasing taxes. It all came out of the same taxpayer pocket. There was just a different hand reaching for it.