Sees tax bill as a tax swap
Don’t be played! House Republicans in Jackson voted Tuesday to raise our taxes under the guise of eliminating the state income tax. This is not a tax cut, it’s a tax swap. Though I love the idea of supposedly phasing out the income tax, Mississippi HB 1439 is a complete disaster, and needs to be marked for immediate burial.
Under this bill, small businesses would see a notable reduction in sales, with neighboring states being the beneficiaries. The extra tax would stifle our already shifty tourism industry. Restaurants in places like Starkville would charge $12.5% total sales tax, which would trash their hopes of a post-COVID boom. Auto dealers would face potential layoffs.
I predict the Senate will do better and shoot this thing down. The bill does nothing to reduce the size and scope of state spending. Entitlements and human services would remain appropriated to match 2020 disbursements, as if COVID were not dwindling away by December. With the same amount of cash (likely more) flowing out of Jackson, politicians found a sneakier way to pick our pockets. Simpler? Maybe. Better? No! I am hoping and believing that the Senate and the governor will see through the smoke and opt for a more sensible plan. After all, of the many taxes Mississippians pay, the state income tax is the least complained about.
David M. Chism