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: 259117

Reported Deaths: 5668
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto17436187
Hinds16524328
Harrison13876199
Rankin11000217
Jackson10652187
Lee8981141
Madison8413168
Jones6552112
Forrest6101121
Lauderdale6034189
Lowndes5463119
Lafayette507393
Lamar496465
Washington4877124
Bolivar4068109
Oktibbeha401681
Panola378380
Pontotoc372155
Monroe3628105
Warren3619101
Union350563
Marshall349569
Neshoba3433152
Pearl River3380104
Leflore3079108
Lincoln300687
Sunflower289272
Hancock285360
Tate276762
Alcorn268854
Pike266580
Itawamba266261
Scott253448
Yazoo250156
Prentiss249552
Tippah245850
Copiah244549
Coahoma243654
Simpson240069
Leake234367
Grenada221171
Marion218473
Covington216972
Adams210170
Wayne206432
Winston205267
George202739
Attala195761
Newton195745
Tishomingo192461
Chickasaw186144
Jasper176038
Holmes169868
Clay162735
Tallahatchie154935
Stone148424
Clarke143562
Calhoun138021
Smith125825
Yalobusha120234
Walthall113437
Greene112129
Noxubee111425
Montgomery110936
Carroll105922
Lawrence104317
Perry103231
Amite99926
Webster94324
Tunica87621
Jefferson Davis87327
Claiborne86825
Benton84023
Humphreys83624
Kemper79120
Quitman7029
Franklin68716
Choctaw62313
Wilkinson58825
Jefferson55920
Sharkey44217
Issaquena1606
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 432536

Reported Deaths: 6379
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson63523957
Mobile30967562
Madison27627201
Tuscaloosa21122268
Montgomery19495326
Shelby18941126
Baldwin16798188
Lee12901102
Morgan12447129
Etowah11911178
Calhoun11365205
Marshall10322119
Houston8813156
Limestone823176
Cullman8159106
Elmore8056104
DeKalb7796102
Lauderdale773399
St. Clair7705122
Talladega6347109
Walker5993174
Jackson590341
Colbert543274
Blount541186
Autauga527061
Coffee454160
Dale405482
Franklin371948
Russell345712
Chilton340972
Covington334168
Escambia328344
Dallas310196
Chambers297370
Clarke290536
Tallapoosa2665107
Pike258830
Marion250155
Lawrence249150
Winston231442
Bibb219848
Geneva206946
Marengo205229
Pickens198631
Hale180842
Barbour177836
Fayette174528
Butler171358
Cherokee162530
Henry157523
Monroe150718
Randolph143236
Washington139527
Clay128546
Crenshaw121644
Cleburne119724
Lamar119621
Macon119637
Lowndes112536
Wilcox105822
Bullock101428
Perry99118
Conecuh96320
Sumter89726
Greene76723
Coosa62215
Choctaw51624
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