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: 308737

Reported Deaths: 7139
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto20901250
Hinds19953410
Harrison17551302
Rankin13358276
Jackson13141243
Madison9949211
Lee9886170
Jones8308161
Forrest7537147
Lauderdale7221237
Lowndes6286144
Lamar613284
Lafayette6063117
Washington5288133
Bolivar4775129
Oktibbeha457097
Panola4456103
Pearl River4433141
Warren4294118
Marshall4283101
Pontotoc417572
Monroe4061132
Union404675
Neshoba4001176
Lincoln3883109
Hancock373385
Leflore3470124
Sunflower330789
Tate325082
Pike3205105
Scott311272
Yazoo304769
Alcorn298865
Itawamba297477
Copiah293965
Coahoma290378
Simpson289486
Tippah285168
Prentiss276559
Marion266279
Leake261473
Wayne261441
Grenada256284
Covington254980
Adams246882
Newton245561
George238347
Winston226081
Tishomingo222467
Jasper219948
Attala213573
Chickasaw205257
Holmes186972
Clay183054
Stone179531
Clarke177576
Tallahatchie175940
Calhoun165231
Yalobusha159736
Smith159234
Walthall131043
Greene129633
Lawrence126623
Noxubee126533
Montgomery125742
Perry125238
Carroll120926
Amite120741
Webster113732
Jefferson Davis105432
Tunica103025
Claiborne101330
Benton97425
Kemper95628
Humphreys94432
Franklin82723
Quitman78916
Choctaw73717
Wilkinson64928
Jefferson64828
Sharkey49817
Issaquena1686
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 521201

Reported Deaths: 10736
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson753981490
Mobile39011799
Madison34002496
Tuscaloosa25329444
Montgomery23996567
Shelby23160239
Baldwin20674302
Lee15567165
Calhoun14330311
Morgan14152271
Etowah13677346
Marshall11988220
Houston10402278
Elmore10008200
Limestone9843147
Cullman9501189
St. Clair9449234
Lauderdale9254228
DeKalb8756181
Talladega8104171
Walker7126275
Jackson6751110
Autauga6748103
Blount6511134
Colbert6225130
Coffee5418113
Dale4771111
Russell429338
Franklin420582
Chilton4100109
Covington4059114
Tallapoosa3904146
Escambia389574
Dallas3522149
Chambers3513122
Clarke346760
Marion3072100
Pike306176
Lawrence295395
Winston273072
Bibb256059
Marengo248261
Geneva245975
Pickens233059
Barbour226255
Hale218675
Butler212867
Fayette209460
Henry188044
Cherokee182544
Randolph177041
Monroe172440
Washington164738
Macon155548
Clay150055
Crenshaw149457
Cleburne146341
Lamar139634
Lowndes136553
Wilcox124527
Bullock121540
Conecuh109428
Perry107626
Sumter103232
Coosa99428
Greene91334
Choctaw58724
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