Some members of the Republican-controlled Mississippi Legislature are renewing an effort to eliminate the state income tax — a proposal that failed earlier this year amid concerns it would drain budgets for schools, roads and other services in one of the nation’s poorest states.
Republican House Speaker Philip Gunn is leading the effort, and he said Wednesday that phasing out the state income tax could help Mississippi attract new businesses and new residents.
“I don’t think if we just eliminate the income tax that it’s going to be ‘happy days are here again,’ but we fight enough obstacles in this state to attract people already. That’s one of them,” Gunn told reporters at the Capitol.
Democratic Sen. Hob Bryan of Amory, opposes erasing the income tax. He said Mississippi has “crumbling” roads, widespread water and sewer problems and areas that lack reliable internet access.
“Do you know a single human being on the face of the earth that would move to Mississippi if only we didn’t have a state income tax?” Bryan said. “It’s laughable on its face.”