Two Mississippi officials are voicing conflicting views on taxes and the state budget. MPB's Alexis Ware reports the standoff could be a preview of the next gubernatorial election.
Neither Democratic Attorney General Jim Hood nor Republican Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves has confirmed they are running. Both men are widely rumored as candidates for governor in 2019. The two made back-to-back speeches Wednesday at the Neshoba County Fair.
Attorney General Hood says the state is making too many cuts to institutions designed to help Mississippians. He says more funding should go to mental health, education and infrastructure. He says cutting taxes is not going to improve the economy.
"This whole theory of giving these last tax cuts to these corporations ain't helping main street Mississippi businesses and it's failed in Kansas it's failed in Louisiana, and there's a record there's proof there's evidence. I'm just stating the facts."
In July the state implemented a tax cut plan that will eventually reduce the state's tax revenue by an estimated $415 million per year.
Lt. Gov. Reeves disagrees with Hood. Reeves says Mississippians want the government to conserve its spending and lower taxes.
"I believe the fact that we've passed the largest tax cut in Mississippi history is a good thing. They believe Democrats believe we ought not enact those tax cuts. They believe truck drivers and realtors and our pastors don't deserve a tax break. I believe that people know better how to spend their money than the government ever will know how to spend their money."
Political speeches at Neshoba County Fair continue today when Governor Phil Bryant will address Mississippi's Giant House Party.