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Senate Moves Forward with Large Tax Cut
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Mississippi Seante
Paul Boger

A bill that would cut state revenues by $575 million over the next 15 years is on its way to the House.

S.B. 2858, otherwise known as the Taxpayer Pay Raise Act of 2016, eliminates the corporate franchise tax, reforms the state’s self-employment tax and creates a five percent flat individual income tax.

The bill is aimed at cutting the state taxes by about 575 million dollars over the next 15 years and was passed by the Senate by a vote of 38 to 10, yesterday.

Republican Senator Joey Fillingane of Sumrall is the Chair of the Senate Finance Committee. He says cutting the taxes would allow for greater state revenue growth in the form of sales taxes.

“I think we know that when you or I have additional money that we weren’t anticipating having, we do something with that by and large,” says Fillingane. “We either pay off debt; we buy something we wanted that we didn’t think we had the money for. That money turns over in the economy. I think it’s a misconception that that money is just going to be lost. I think a lot of it, if not most of it will come back into the general fund through a sales tax payment.”

“But if you’re making $30,000 a year, and this bill passes in the form it’s before us, you’re family would get $163.”

That was Democratic Senator David Blount Speaking on the floor of the Senate. He believes people would rather spend that money on the services they are currently receiving, whether it’s education or healthcare.

“I think they would say ‘Look, I’d like to have $163 dollars because I just make $30,000 a year, but I see the big picture,” Blount says. “I would rather have a fully funded education system. I would rather have social workers who take care of children who are sexually abused. I’d rather have prison guards who literally risk their lives for less than $20,000 a year, to keep the most dangerous Mississippians off the streets. I’d rather do that, then have $163.”

The bill will now head to the House for that chamber's approval.