The Clarion-Ledger, 3/13/9

If Jackson voters agree to raise sales taxes this year, they may be asked to decide in another five years whether the tax hike should continue.

State lawmakers are working to tweak an optional sales-tax bill signed into law by Gov. Haley Barbour this week. Senate Bill 3268 lets Jackson seek voter support to add a 1 percent sales tax on certain items in order to fix roads and hire more police and firefighters.

State lawmakers on Thursday also began negotiating raising the state’s 18-cent cigarette tax. They discussed April 1 as the day a tax hike would take effect.

Negotiations on House Bill 364 continue today.

Barbour said he didn’t support the legislation for the additional sales tax, but signed it with the understanding it would undergo more work. At issue is a part of the bill that says the tax hike disappears after five years.