Governor proposes phasing out Mississippi income tax

Gov. Tate Reeves on Facebook Live November 16, 2020, discussing his budget proposal.

Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves said Monday that the state should phase out its individual income tax by 2030 to attract new residents and businesses that could boost economic growth.

Posted: Nov 16, 2020 5:46 PM
Updated: Nov 16, 2020 5:46 PM

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves said Monday that the state should phase out its individual income tax by 2030 to attract new residents and businesses that could boost economic growth.

“We, as a state, need to think big,” said Reeves, a Republican who became governor in January. “What can we do to make a splash? What can we to do to say to the world, ‘Not only do we want you to invest capital here, we want you to move here'?"

Mississippi's population has grown slowly this year after declining in recent years. Florida, Texas and Tennessee, which do not have an individual income tax, have grown rapidly.

“Let's eliminate the income tax, which is one huge speed bump to long-term economic growth and recovery for Mississippi," Reeves said.

Legislators often ignore budget ideas from any governor, and Reeves could face bigger challenges than usual because of uncertainty caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

The individual income tax is one of the largest sources of Mississippi tax collections.

During the fiscal year that ended June 30, the state collected about $5.8 billion from all types of state taxes, fees and other sources, including lawsuit settlements, according to the state Department of Finance and Administration. The biggest chunk of money, about $2.2 billion, came from sales taxes. The next-largest source was about $1.8 billion from individual income taxes.

The Mississippi Department of Revenue says the state does not charge individual income tax for the first $6,000 for a single person or the first $8,000 for the head of household — one person with at least one dependent. The exemption for a married couple is $12,000.

Mississippi charges no individual income tax on the first $2,000 of taxable income.​ It charges 3% on the next $3,000, 4% on the next $5,000 and 5% on all taxable income over $10,000.

In 2016, Republican Gov. Phil Bryant signed a law that phases out the 3% individual income tax bracket, starting in calendar year 2018 and ending in 2022.

The proposed budget that Reeves released Monday also includes $3 million for grants to local schools for a “patriotic education” program and a $3 million increase for the state Law Enforcement Training Academy.

“We think one of the priorities in Mississippi is not to do what some would suggest, which is to defund the police,” Reeves said. “Rather, we want to have an initiative to actually fund the police.”

President Donald Trump on Nov. 2 created a “1776 Commission” to promote his vision of patriotic education. Trump had criticized The New York Times’ “1619 Project,” which examined the long-term consequences of slavery in the United States.

Reeves said Monday: “One of the things that has concerned me, and I know many of you, for the last several years is the attempt by some to change history, the attempt by some to move our country more in a socialist direction and in some instances even more in a communist approach. Those don't make sense in America.”

The governor said young people need to be taught “the good and the bad” about “what makes America the greatest place on earth, what makes America — these United States of America — the greatest country in the history of mankind.”

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 333180

Reported Deaths: 7502
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto22901279
Hinds22780438
Harrison19569326
Rankin14851287
Jackson14342251
Madison10692227
Lee10437179
Jones8746169
Forrest8210157
Lauderdale7561243
Lowndes6790150
Lamar669688
Lafayette6459124
Washington5516139
Pearl River4915149
Bolivar4909134
Oktibbeha478498
Panola4723112
Marshall4654106
Warren4640127
Pontotoc440473
Monroe4255137
Union425379
Neshoba4182180
Lincoln4098115
Hancock405088
Leflore3565125
Pike3530112
Tate349588
Alcorn343974
Sunflower343093
Adams333387
Scott331775
Yazoo331173
Simpson314890
Copiah313867
Itawamba310180
Coahoma308785
Tippah298868
Prentiss292963
Covington282483
Marion279580
Leake278475
Wayne270743
Grenada266388
George261651
Newton256664
Tishomingo236869
Winston235584
Jasper226148
Attala220873
Chickasaw216360
Stone210237
Holmes195674
Clay192254
Clarke182080
Tallahatchie181742
Calhoun177532
Smith175935
Yalobusha169440
Walthall141548
Lawrence137726
Greene135734
Amite132843
Noxubee131635
Perry131038
Montgomery130944
Carroll124531
Webster117532
Jefferson Davis113334
Tunica111127
Benton104625
Claiborne104331
Kemper100729
Humphreys99133
Franklin85923
Quitman83519
Choctaw81319
Wilkinson74632
Jefferson69728
Sharkey51518
Issaquena1696
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 569131

Reported Deaths: 11483
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson831881584
Mobile45534855
Madison36714532
Tuscaloosa26717465
Shelby26527255
Montgomery25707624
Baldwin23668325
Lee16753181
Calhoun15107332
Morgan14916289
Etowah14637368
Marshall12786235
Houston11462292
Elmore10636217
St. Clair10500251
Limestone10468158
Cullman10236204
Lauderdale9968253
DeKalb9278191
Talladega8721187
Walker7581286
Autauga7402113
Jackson7263117
Blount7182139
Colbert6577142
Coffee6024131
Dale5307117
Russell465542
Chilton4630117
Covington4555125
Franklin442081
Tallapoosa4372157
Escambia419182
Chambers3842125
Dallas3687163
Clarke364262
Marion3378106
Pike324279
Lawrence3188101
Winston290772
Bibb279565
Geneva270983
Marengo258367
Barbour243161
Pickens239162
Butler235672
Hale231678
Fayette224364
Henry204845
Randolph194244
Cherokee193848
Monroe191841
Washington176239
Macon167252
Crenshaw163958
Clay162159
Cleburne159045
Lamar149438
Lowndes144254
Wilcox129131
Bullock125642
Conecuh118030
Coosa115829
Perry109728
Sumter108032
Greene97336
Choctaw63825
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Isolated to scattered showers and thunderstorms will continue to be the rule for our Sunday and beginning of our work week. Otherwise, we will see high temperatures reaching well into the 90s for highs and heat index values between 100 to 115 during the afternoon hours.
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