Analysis: No talk of new Mississippi taxes in economic crunch, but higher fees on horizon

Republican Gov. Haley Barbour and key legislators say they won’t try to offset Mississippi’s sluggish revenue with a tax increase in 2010, but fees are open for discussion.
Mississippi’s economic situation mirrors the rest of the nation. State revenue is down by $111.6 million for the first four months of the current fiscal year. Barbour cut nearly $172 million from the $6-billion budget in September and warned future spending reductions would be unavoidable. The governor said last week as much as $200 million more could be trimmed before the fiscal year ends June 30.
Barbour said a tax increase won’t be an option to generate revenue.
“We may adjust some fees,” Barbour said. “The two guiding principles for me are that we want to do things that help create private-sector jobs. We will also try not to do things to reduce private-sector jobs, which is what a tax increase would do.”