RELEASE:

LT. GOV. REEVES PRAISES $195 MILLION TAX CUT SIGNED INTO LAW

JACKSON – Mississippi employers could save up to $195 million over the next decade with a new law slashing the unemployment tax rate, Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves said.

Senate Bill 2808 was signed by Gov. Phil Bryant today. The bill, sponsored by Sen. Joey Fillingane, R-Sumrall, will help Mississippi’s job creators increase investment in their businesses.

This bill is one of several considered this year to provide tax relief. Senate Bill 2858, which is pending in the House, is a $575 million tax relief plan, which includes: eliminating the 3 percent and 4 percent tax brackets levied on income; reducing the overall tax burden on small business owners; and removing the investment penalty, or franchise tax, on businesses’ property and capital.

“I am hopeful this is only the beginning when it comes to providing meaningful tax relief to individuals and Mississippi-grown companies this session,” Lt. Gov. Reeves said. “As a Republican, I believe the state’s fiscal policy should encourage investment and long-term economic growth, and we do that by allowing the taxpayer to keep more of their hard-earned dollars. I look forward to continuing to work with Gov. Bryant and Speaker Gunn to continue to fight for tax relief for Mississippians this legislative session.”

Currently, employers must pay unemployment insurance taxes on a portion of employee wages. Statutorily, the tax rate is between 0.2 percent to 5.4 percent depending on economic activity, such as layoffs or job growth. Under Senate Bill 2808, the minimum tax rate drops to 0.0 percent. The Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund is actuarially sound, which allows the employers’ tax rate to be lowered.

The bill also creates a sustainable workforce training fund, the Mississippi Works Fund. Approximately $10 million will be deposited into the fund in the first year, with about $5 million deposited into the fund in subsequent years. These dollars primarily will be used by the state’s system of community and junior colleges to meet the training needs of new jobs created in the state, as well as to help with job retention and increasing the capacity of Mississippi’s labor force pool.

3/21/16