BRIAN PERRY – Medicaid and taxes

In the Legislature, the divide between Republicans and Democrats is one major hurdle for any piece of legislation to cross.

Other major divides include rural and urban areas and the House and Senate as institutions.

This week the Stennis-Capitol Press Forum featured legislators from those divisions to discuss the recently concluded legislative session.

Sen. David Blount (D-Jackson) and Rep. Andy Gipson (R-Simpson County) talked taxes, Medicaid and committee issues. They both used tax policy as arguments on the Affordable Care Act’s (Obamacare) Medicaid expansion.

Blount suggested the state could fund its portion of Medicaid expansion if it refrained from offering so many tax incentives which he called a negative draw on the state treasury.

Blount said “an over-fondness of tax credits and rebates” hinders the state’s ability to fund education, healthcare and other priorities. He said the legislature passes these tax incentives “without knowing what they cost.” He has proposed a rule change to require more information so legislators will be “more careful with giving away money out the back door.” He said he voted for some of these proposals but against the $25 million tourism tax incentive for an outlet mall in Rankin County.

Madison County Journal
4/10/13