RELEASE:

LT. GOV. REEVES RECOUNTS LEGISLATIVE SUCCESSES, CALLS FOR TAX CUTS

NESHOBA COUNTY FAIRGROUNDS – Mississippi has a balanced budget, increased education support and more accountability on spending under four years of Republican leadership, Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves said today at the Neshoba County Fair.

“Four years ago, I told you I would make a difference in Jackson,” Lt. Gov. Reeves said. “I promised to force government to spend less. I promised to cut your taxes. I promised to reduce your debt burden. I have a surprise for you. You are looking at a Lieutenant Governor who kept his promises.”

Lt. Gov. Reeves said he will renew his push for a tax cut for every Mississippian. Efforts to reduce taxes on personal income and small businesses were blocked by House Democrats earlier this year.

“Mississippi should not punish your success,” Lt. Gov. Reeves. “You should keep your capital to invest in your businesses and create jobs. Now, the naysayers believe we can’t cut taxes. They want to keep feeding the beast of government because they think they know how to spend your money better than you do.”
He also recounted successful efforts to reduce government waste, including:

Elimination of the $5 vehicle inspection sticker,
Lower fees for concealed carry permits, and
Reducing taxpayers’ overall debt burden.

“I’m asking for your support this year as we continue to build on our accomplishments,” Lt. Gov. Reeves said. “With a strong fiscal foundation, a prepared workforce and strong values, Mississippi has a bright future. I ask you to join us on August 4 and vote for proven conservative leadership in Jackson.”

Text of speech (as prepared):

It is great to be at Neshoba County Fair. I have been in all 82 counties over the past four months, and I can tell you without fear of contradiction – Neshoba, you have the hottest county I’ve been in!

On many of those stops, I’ve been blessed to have my wife, Elee, and our three girls, Tyler, Emma and Maddie, right beside me! I can never express how thankful I am to have four beautiful women who support me.

Four years ago, I told you I would make a difference in Jackson. I promised to force government to spend less. I promised to cut your taxes. I promised to reduce your debt burden.

I have a surprise for you. You are looking at a Lieutenant Governor who kept his promises!

Today – with the support of Speaker Gunn and Governor Bryant – we have pointed Mississippi in the right direction with a balanced budget, more accountability on spending and strong conservative values.

In 2011, I heard repeatedly that voters’ top priority was more and better paying jobs. In four years, more than 18,000 jobs have been announced from either new companies or expanding Mississippi businesses.

That represents more than $2.7 billion in new investment in our state!

In fact, other people are noticing how attractive Mississippi is for dependable workers who make quality products. Mississippi is recognized as one of the top 10 states in the country for doing business!

It’s hard to believe, but there are some folks in Jackson who don’t believe this is good news. Liberal Democrats cannot stand Republican progress!

Liberal Democrats see more money being put into the classroom than ever before – and they can’t stand it. They want to redirect your tax dollars to administrators and bureaucrats instead.

Liberal Democrats see low taxes, and they can’t stand it. They want to shake down your pockets for every penny.

Liberal Democrats see a full rainy day fund, and they can’t stand it. They want to spend every nickel in the government treasury, and they want to spend it now.

They want us to go back to a time when they dug a $460 million budget hole. You remember that time – they robbed Peter to pay Paul and they used both hands!

They want to go back to a time when they could charge up the state’s credit card without any limits. In the two years before I took office, the Legislature authorized over $1 billion in debt for your children and grandchildren to worry about.

The Democrats cannot stand fiscal responsibility. And that is why voters have told the liberal Democrats…we cannot stand you in high office in Mississippi.

Your government should do what you do in your business and at home: Live within its means and save for emergencies.

Today, we have a balanced budget that spends recurring revenue on recurring expenses, a full Rainy Day Fund and a lower debt burden.

And we invest in what’s important – education.
You won’t read about this in the newspapers: Under Republican leadership, this year Mississippi will spend a record $400 million more on education than ever before.

The majority of that increase – $288 million – is going directly into K-12 programs that produce results in the classroom. Plus, we’ve raised teacher pay by $3,500 to make Mississippi competitive with our neighbors.

The state also will spend more on universities and community colleges than ever before.

We know the key to our prosperity is a strong workforce, and a strong workforce starts with educating our children. I will fight for more dollars in the classroom, and more importantly, I will fight for positive outcomes for students.

One of the biggest hurdles we have faced when putting more money in the classroom is the amount of debt saddling our taxpayers. Four years ago, I promised to stop runaway debt and wasteful spending in state government.

To show folks in Jackson that I was serious, I took the hard line of stopping an outrageous bond bill in 2012. Make no mistake – the reaction was extreme – folks just couldn’t imagine that the sun would continue to rise over Mississippi without saddling you with hundreds of millions of dollars of debt.

I stand here today with news that not only is the sun shining but our future is even brighter because our children aren’t facing an ever-growing debt pile.

You elected me to make sure taxpayers’ dollars are spent efficiently and effectively. However, righting the ship takes more than simply saying no to new requests and demanding results.
It takes a change in the mindset of bureaucrats and even some legislators!

This year, I’ve asked agencies to account for every fee and fine they impose on taxpayers. Believe it or not – we had to have legislation to gather that information!

Imagine that – it takes the force of law to make your government tell your Legislature what is happening to your money!

I look forward to getting a clearer picture on the entire slate of fees and charges government places on taxpayers.

Whether a dollar is paid through taxes, fees or fines – government must be held accountable for how much it’s spending and what it’s spent on!

Speaking of inefficient fees, you’ve been paying one for years. State government chipped away at your pocketbook for a $5 inspection sticker simply for flicking on your headlights and honking your horn.

I’m proud to say this year, that inefficient tax is gone!

Our government needs to spend less, but I also believe you should send fewer of your hard-earned dollars to Jackson.

This year, I tried to pass a pay raise for every Mississippian through a reasonable plan to phase out certain income taxes. As a conservative, I believe government shouldn’t be in the business of picking winners and losers. As a conservative, I believe the tax code should be simple. Mississippi needs tax relief that encourages capital investment and promotes long-term economic growth.

That is why I pushed to eliminate the lowest personal income tax brackets, eliminate the self-employment tax on small business owners and end the franchise tax – which is a tax on Mississippi-grown companies for simply investing at home.

While House Democrats stopped those efforts this time, let me tell you – I’m not giving up on providing taxpayers a pay raise!

Mississippi should not punish your success. You should keep your capital to invest in your businesses and create jobs.

Now, the naysayers believe we can’t cut taxes. They want to keep feeding the beast of government because they think they know how to spend your money better than you do!

The Democrats say taxes cannot be cut because they’ve already spent the money.

As President Reagan once said, “We can lecture our children about extravagance until we run out of voice and breath. Or we can cure their extravagance by simply reducing their allowance!”

We can cut your taxes and invest in our future. Take, for example, our efforts to strengthen Mississippi’s workforce.

We know the chances of employment greatly increase once a person receives job training. I’m proud to say we’ve increased support for job training at community colleges and made it easier for our educators and the private sector to collaborate on real-world experiences for students.

Only bold moves will change our story in Mississippi.

The reforms you’ve watched in Jackson will bring seismic change to workforce quality and transform our economy unlike anything we’ve seen before.

To improve public schools – it takes more than dollars – it takes a desire for results.

Now, the status quo doesn’t like to talk about outcomes – they only want more of the same in Mississippi. They see that fewer than 25 percent of students with disabilities graduate from high school, and they’re ok with that. They see that more than half of our fourth graders can’t read on grade level, and they’re ok with that. In fact, they complained when we made sure our children have the proper foundation for starting a successful education.

Mississippi’s challenges in the classroom cannot be solved with the same old, tired arguments. Our students deserve innovative solutions that put a diploma in their hand and a job in their future!

It’s time we stop worrying about adults in the administrative office and start helping students in the classroom.

Public education funding will be higher this year than at any point in our state’s history. But that is just the start. On top of our budget increases, we are reforming our public education system from the top down.

Allowing students with special needs to attend the school that best fits their needs; allowing students escape a failing school and broaden their horizons at a public charter school; ensuring that every third grader can read on a basic level; These are the changes that are making a real difference in Mississippi’s future.

And lastly, I want to say nothing is more important to Mississippi’s future than ensuring we continue to make this the greatest state in the country to raise a family.

Mississippians are God-fearing, caring people. Mississippians believe in the sanctity of life. Mississippians are strong believers in the right to bear arms. I have worked to protect these rights every day I’ve been in office. And that’s why more than 200 GOP elected officials, Mississippi Right to Life and the NRA have chosen to endorse my re-election.

First, we support those families in Mississippi who open their homes to adopted children. If you adopt a child, you can claim a tax credit for adoption expenses.

And we’ve stood strong to protect life by banning abortions after the 20th week of pregnancy.

As Mississippians, we respect our United States Constitution. And we proudly uphold our Second Amendment Rights.

I’ve been fortunate to have a strong chairman of the Senate Wildlife and Parks Committee. Someone who isn’t afraid to stand tall for your rights – Your Senator Giles Ward!

He is someone who has the respect of the entire state Senate – which is why his colleagues voted him to be Senate President Pro Tem after our friend Terry Brown passed away.

Senator Ward will be missed when he retires in January.

He and I fought for two years to lower the fees on concealed carry permits. With the support of the National Rifle Association, we were able to do just that this session.

After the tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Connecticut, we passed legislation ensuring that our schools were safer places for our children by increasing the number of armed guards on campuses.

As Mississippians, we respect our men and women serving this country in uniform. This year, we passed legislation making it easier for military service people to obtain an enhanced concealed carry permit. And I’m proud to say – this law is expediting the effort to allow those in National Guard recruiting offices to protect themselves!

We have accomplished a great deal over the past four years, but I stand here saying there is a lot more we can do. Most importantly, I will never forget who I serve – you.

I’m asking for your support this year as we continue to build on our accomplishments. With a strong fiscal foundation, a prepared workforce and strong values, Mississippi has a bright future. I ask you to join us on August 4 and vote for proven conservative leadership in Jackson!

Thank you and God bless Mississippi.

7/29/15