The Clarion-Ledger Editorial, 11/18/7

Gov. Haley Barbour wasted no time after last Tuesday’s election in announcing that he intends to cut taxes during the 2008 legislative session. The governor says he wants any tax changes to be fair and “pro-growth,” and that he intends to ask for a study commission to recommend those changes.

The most fair tax change that our state could make this coming year is cutting the state’s grocery tax. Mississippi has the highest grocery tax rate in the nation; a majority of states do not even tax food.

Mississippi still has the lowest income levels in the nation and the highest percentage of children living in poverty: 30.9 percent. Over 16 percent of Mississippi families regularly have trouble buying enough food, especially enough nutritious food, to put on the dinner table. Mississippians at the bottom of the income ladder pay a larger portion of their income in taxes than high-income earners partly because the state taxes food.