In a one-on-one sitdown with Mississippi Today’s Marshall Ramsey at Ole Miss, the reputed “King of Torts”, Dickie Scruggs, vowed that his 2nd Chance Mississippi group would be reintroducing a bill creating a special tax credit that shot down in 2017.
In his sit down with @MSTODAYnews Editor at Large @MarshallRamsey, @DickScruggs vows that a tax credit he championed in 2017 will make a return appearance at #msleg #mselex #hydr pic.twitter.com/nkHqMw6DWX
— Yall Politics (@MSyallpolitics) October 22, 2019
The bill he’s referring to is House Bill 1615 in 2017, which would have created a special state tax credit to be used by taxpayers and administered through an organization approved by the State Community College Board for the benefit of the MI-BEST program. Scruggs’s 2nd Chance group at the time would have been the only entity described under that law for which donations could be offset by the credits. 2nd Chance donations were already eligible for federal tax deductions as a 501c3.
From the dead bill –
THERE SHALL BE A CREDIT AGAINST THE TAXES IMPOSED BY THIS CHAPTER IN THE AMOUNT OF CONTRIBUTIONS MADE BY A TAXPAYER TO A QUALIFIED MISSISSIPPI NONPROFIT ORGANIZATION CREATED TO SERVE THE STATE COMMUNITY AND JUNIOR COLLEGE SYSTEM IN NONPROFIT ENDEAVORS THAT ARE MADE TO SUPPORT THE MISSISSIPPI INTEGRATED BASIC EDUCATION AND SKILLS TRAINING (MI-BEST) MODEL PROGRAM. THE AMOUNT OF THE CREDIT CLAIMED BY A TAXPAYER SHALL NOT EXCEED ONE MILLION DOLLARS ($1,000,000.00) IN ANY TAXABLE YEAR. IN ORDER TO QUALIFY FOR THE TAX CREDIT AUTHORIZED BY THIS SECTION, THE CONTRIBUTIONS SHALL BE MADE TO A NONPROFIT ORGANIZATION APPROVED BY THE MISSISSIPPI COMMUNITY COLLEGE BOARD TO MATCH STATE-APPROPRIATED FUNDS.
In his interview, Scruggs bemoaned the state Senate for not bringing up his bill passed unanimously by the House. At the time in 2017, several House members Y’all Politics spoke with said they had no idea that the tax credit would have essentially benefited the 2nd Chance MS group specifically and would never have voted for the bill with that knowledge.
The bill never got brought up in the Senate and died on the calendar.
Marshall’s interview with Dickie Scruggs.
Posted by Mississippi Today on Monday, October 21, 2019
Dickie Scruggs, who pleaded guilty to two separate instances of bribing federal judges, was the central player in the largest judicial bribery scheme in Mississippi history. His son, Zach Scruggs, who pleaded guilty to misprision of a felony in the same scheme, works as the Executive Director of 2nd Chance Mississippi.