Mississippi revenue collections create surplus - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Mississippi revenue collections create surplus

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The state collected more than $5 billion in revenue this year. The state collected more than $5 billion in revenue this year.
Gov. Phil Bryant says the surplus will be helpful when the state figures the budget for next year. Gov. Phil Bryant says the surplus will be helpful when the state figures the budget for next year.
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

We're getting an in-depth look at all the revenue the state is piling in. Gov. Phil Bryant says the surplus will be helpful when the state figures the budget for next year.

The final call on where the money will be used will be decided when the Joint Legislative Budget Committee meets in the fall. But in the meantime, Bryant is hopeful about the state's economic outlook.

"What we're looking at is about $295 million more than had been projected," Bryant said.

The state collected more than $5 billion in revenue this year. The original projection was around $4.8 billion 

"These numbers are pure job creating, corporate growth, income tax dollars and that's a good indicator that we're growing," explained Bryant.

Job creation is a topic the governor is quick to discuss. More than 6,000 new jobs have been created since he took office, and industries like aerospace have given a shot in the arm to the working landscape.

"We are such a diversified economy now that if agriculture is not doing well or manufacturing, we have others. We have the tourist industry that is growing fast here. Our creative economy is adding so much to the revenues for the state of Mississippi," Bryant said.

Some of the surplus is already promised for built-in costs like funding state agencies. But another portion can be used for building maintenance without the help of bonds. Bryant says it will give the state some cushion to the budget.

"As good as it is, we must know that I'll ask the legislature to put 2% of all that revenue into the rainy day fund so we can we can save that in bad times. But it will be dramatically better. And as our economy grows, so will our revenues," Bryant described.

While some Mississippians may still be feeling the effects of the recession, Bryant says there are signs of hope. And he notes taxes have not gone up.

"That's not necessarily so in other states. We have a surplus where other states are dealing with deficit holes that are deep and wide," the governor explained.

Bryant believes Mississippi is just beginning to realize the possibilities for its future. The states recently landed near the top of multiple national rankings for job creation and growth.

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