Mississippi House takes 1st step to approve tax cut plan

Mississippi would phase out its income tax, reduce the sales tax on groceries and set a higher sales tax rate on many other items, under a bill that advanced Wednesday through the state House

House Bill 531 passed 96-12, with bipartisan support. It is similar to a bill that passed the House but ultimately died in 2021 because Senate leaders did not agree.

"The bill this year is much simpler, easier to understand, and I would say to you an improved product over the bill that passed overwhelmingly in this body last year," Ways and Means Committee Chairman Trey Lamar, a Republican from Senatobia, said during House debate.

This year's bill also faces an uncertain fate in the Senate. Republican Lt. Gov. Delbert Hosemann has said he wants legislators to cut taxes, but he has not released a proposal.

Mississippi tax collections were higher the first half of the current state budget year, from July through December, than they were for the same period a year ago.

Republican House Speaker Philip Gunn said eliminating the income tax is his priority this legislative session because he believes the change will make Mississippi more competitive with states such as Texas, Florida and Tennessee, that don't tax income.

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