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: 245847

Reported Deaths: 5356
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto16717168
Hinds15748310
Harrison12806188
Rankin10334204
Jackson9996172
Lee8666135
Madison7994158
Jones6112108
Forrest5826117
Lauderdale5672174
Lowndes5186106
Lafayette482792
Lamar471162
Washington4700122
Bolivar3915105
Oktibbeha384279
Panola357274
Pontotoc356552
Monroe3463101
Union334755
Warren334692
Marshall333264
Neshoba3310149
Pearl River313891
Leflore2969104
Lincoln290185
Sunflower275868
Tate264759
Alcorn257850
Itawamba257058
Pike254876
Hancock246957
Prentiss240047
Scott238743
Copiah235649
Yazoo235054
Tippah233845
Simpson230166
Leake226764
Coahoma219054
Grenada213970
Covington207171
Marion203371
Adams200065
Winston196260
George195937
Wayne193029
Attala190958
Newton185142
Chickasaw179943
Tishomingo179059
Holmes167467
Jasper163533
Clay155632
Stone138818
Tallahatchie137033
Clarke135160
Calhoun132021
Smith117322
Yalobusha112534
Walthall110536
Noxubee108922
Greene108229
Montgomery107134
Carroll102320
Lawrence99817
Perry98631
Amite95725
Webster90024
Claiborne84125
Tunica84021
Jefferson Davis82925
Humphreys80324
Benton79722
Kemper75620
Quitman6678
Franklin64613
Choctaw59412
Wilkinson57424
Jefferson52019
Sharkey42317
Issaquena1576
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 414583

Reported Deaths: 5945
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson60842887
Mobile29590538
Madison26466183
Tuscaloosa20537267
Montgomery18562304
Shelby18181112
Baldwin15841177
Lee1212097
Morgan12002112
Etowah11488142
Calhoun10863197
Marshall10048106
Houston8405123
Cullman792294
Limestone785073
Elmore7670101
DeKalb757282
St. Clair7417120
Lauderdale740282
Talladega6036108
Walker5834176
Jackson571937
Colbert522270
Blount521980
Autauga507555
Coffee431456
Dale388278
Franklin362145
Chilton332965
Covington325567
Russell318910
Escambia309842
Dallas297988
Chambers275769
Clarke272933
Tallapoosa2591107
Pike245829
Lawrence239345
Marion238649
Winston222535
Bibb211347
Geneva196331
Marengo196329
Pickens195331
Hale172542
Barbour169636
Butler166958
Fayette164026
Cherokee158330
Henry149219
Monroe143617
Randolph137635
Washington135426
Clay124446
Crenshaw117444
Lamar116819
Cleburne115123
Macon111935
Lowndes107935
Wilcox99921
Bullock97128
Perry95019
Conecuh92820
Sumter89126
Greene75123
Coosa59814
Choctaw50824
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