Mississippi business leaders and lawmakers are supporting a set of tax cuts that are being billed as a "pay raise for taxpayers."
Members of the Senate Finance Committee are set to approve a 400-million dollar tax cut for businesses and individuals. The cuts are aimed at getting rid of the state's franchise tax, as well as the lowest income tax bracket. The proposal would also put the self-employment tax in line with the federal government, cutting it nearly in half. Joey Fillingane of Sumrall is the Committee Chair.
"Now, we're finally beyond the great recession, where every one was under a financial crunch, but now we're coming out of that businesses are doing better." says Fillingane. "They're starting to grow and expand, hire more employees. Now I think is a prime time to be giving a taxpayers a break finally."
Opponents of the cuts are calling the tax breaks a giveaway to corporations at a time when the state needs additional revenue to fully fund education and a ballooning medicaid budget. When approached for comment, Democratic lawmakers were hesitant to voice an opinion on the tax cuts. But business leaders like Jay Moon of the Mississippi Manufacturers Association say they're happy to see things like the franchise tax go by the wayside.
"Eliminating the franchise tax would allow us to be more competitive, to attract more business and industry to the state and also to provide significant benefits to our existing businesses who are here but are competing in a global marketplace," says Moon.
The Finance Committee is expected to pass the tax cut plan early next week. It will then head to the full Senate for their approval.