The House Speaker says the Senate plan is trying to “deceive” as that chamber proposes spending state money “right and left.”
The Mississippi House and Senate have now passed their own proposals for eliminating all or part of Mississippi’s income tax laws. HB 531, put forward by the House, focuses on complete elimination of the state’s income tax while SB 3164 would cut the 4% bracket over a four-year period but not eliminate the full income tax.
Both plans have been transmitted to the other chamber for consideration.
Monday morning on SuperTalk’s Gallo Show, House Speaker Philip Gunn (R) spoke on the opportunity the Mississippi Legislature has to pass transformative legislation.
“This is an opportunity to be transformative,” the Speaker of the House said. “We can make a difference in the lives of Mississippians by eliminating the income tax.”
Speaker Gunn expressed his disappointment in the plan that the Senate brought forward, saying it comes nowhere near eliminating the income tax.
“We want to pass a bill that eliminates the income tax. Now, we have proposed different ways to do that, but at the end of the day we want a plan that eliminates the income tax,” Gunn said. “What the Senate proposed this week did not come anywhere close to that.”
Gunn warned Mississippians to listen carefully to the language being used to defend the Senate’s bill, saying it gives a false impression and “pulls the wool over the eyes” of Mississippians in order to make people think they will get tax relief when they would not.
“Mississippians don’t need a Biden stimulus check from the Senate. They need real, substantive, life-changing tax relief,” Gunn said. “People need to understand why [the Senate’s] plan does not accomplish the relief that we need.”
He says if you do the math, the Senate plan is flawed, and it is trying “to deceive.”
“I’ve also been frustrated by the flat-out misrepresentations by some of the Senators,” Gunn told Gallo, calling out recent statements by Lt. Governor Delbert Hosemann (R), Senator Joey Fillingane (R), Senator Chad McMahan (R), and Senator Hob Bryan (D) made on Gallo’s radio show and rebutting their quotes, saying they are falsely representing the House’s proposal.
Gunn took issue with the Senate’s proposals to spend state money “right and left,” pointing out Senate proposals to give lawmakers a pay raise, a $350 million road plan, and plans “to spend every dime” of the American Rescue Plan Act funds the state received.
“As Republicans, we profess that we believe in being responsible, staying within our means. We believe in less government, less tax. We believe in less spending, free markets. Those are all Republican concepts,” Gunn said.
Speaker Gunn said that he and members in the House will continue to push for the income tax elimination until the deadline comes.
The Speaker said if the deadline passes and the Senate will not pass full income tax elimination, then he would request that Governor Tate Reeves call for a special session to handle the issue.
Governor Reeves has said he believes the state can eliminate the income tax without raising taxes on anybody, noting he likes portions of both chambers’ bills.
On Monday, the Governor recapped the state’s revenues as February came to a close, tweeting, “The Legislature can spend that money on growing government. Or they can let YOU keep your money. My vote: Eliminate the income tax.”
Last day of February (only 28 days of collections)
State revenue exceeded estimates by $97.2 million. 31.49% over estimates. In ONE month.
The Legislature can spend that money on growing government. Or they can let YOU keep your money.
My vote: Eliminate the income tax.
— Tate Reeves (@tatereeves) February 28, 2022