JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Just when it seemed the tax reform plan was dead for this legislative session, the House, where it originated, found a way to bring it back through the bond bill.
This proposal would phase out the income tax, reduce the grocery tax and increase the sales tax.
“Ladies and gentlemen, the tax bill was alive again with this amendment,” said Rep. Trey Lamar.
The Senate Finance chair has said he doesn’t think there’s ample time to review such a transformative piece of legislation. And says that’s why they let the bill die this deadline day.
“It’s not just a matter of bringing income tax down and the sales tax up,” explained Sen. Josh Harkins. “It’s what other implications does that cause in other parts of state government? What obligations are out there that’s going to create a burden for the state to have to carry?”
But with the Speaker leaning into the fight, it was revived.
“This is a number one issue for the House,” described Speaker Philip Gunn. “We made this a House position a month ago when we voted on it. It was a strong vote and we’re going to continue to fight the fight and find a way to make it happen.”
“We have another bite at this apple,” added Rep. Lamar.
But the Senate Finance Chair indicated earlier in the day that reviving it wouldn’t change the Senate position.
“It doesn’t change the fact that we don’t have the time to do it,” said Harkins. “I appreciate the importance they place on this. We are equally as concerned and we want to see something but we want to make sure that we are dotting all the i’s and crossing all the t’s, so to speak.”
Now, there are a couple of changes compared to the original bill. The House is proposing to remove the section to raise taxes on farmers, loggers and manufacturers. Because of that, the amounts for the first round of income tax cuts would be reduced and full phase-out would take a year or two longer than first planned.