Lawmaker criticizes tax credits - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Lawmaker criticizes tax credits

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JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

If you ask Democratic Senator David Blount, there's a consistent problem in the legislature.

"An over fondness for undocumented and unquantifiable tax credits and rebates that will impact the general fund long term and impair our ability to meet our essential needs," said Blount.

Blount says a lot of tax credits being handed out by the legislature come without much explanation or information on how much it's going to cost long term.

"I'm not opposed to a well reasoned, well thought out plan. What I'm opposed to is voting on bills without knowing what they're going to cost," said Blount.

Blount introduced a resolution during the session to require more information when changing appropriation bills but the measure didn't survive. Republican Representative Andy Gipson says the state should be doing all it can to attract business, even it if means not collecting taxes for a while.

"I think tax incentives, used properly and appropriately at the right time for the right deals, they're great economic development tool," said Gipson.

Gipson says a good example of that is the $25 million tax credit for an outlet mall in Pearl. Blount takes issue with the fact that the legislature is handing out that kind of money while at the same time refusing to expand the state's Medicaid program.

"I don't think that's what we need to be doing quite frankly with the needs that we have," said Blount.

"We can't give everyone a tax credit but where we can and we know that it's going to result in jobs and economic development, I think it's a good tool to have," said Gipson.

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