Lt. governor says job creation should be state’s top priority

Almost two-thirds ($260 million) of the $405 million tax cut goes to corporations through the elimination of two taxes — the inventory tax and franchise tax.

“Both of those taxes were taxes Mississippi had that Alabama didn’t have, Tennessee didn’t have, Arkansas didn’t have and Louisiana didn’t have,” Reeves said. “Those taxes made us less competitive and less attractive. Businesses aren’t just looking at the Golden Triangle or the state of Mississippi. They are looking at places in Alabama and Arkansas and Tennessee and Louisiana. We had a tax our competitors didn’t have, which means businesses coming here would have a cost of doing business they don’t have in those states.”

Prior to the tax cut, Mississippi’s corporate tax rate (5 percent) was already lower than that of Alabama, Arkansas and Tennessee (6.5 percent) as well as Louisiana (8 percent).

Reeves said other legislation passed during his tenure as lieutenant governor, which began in 2012, includes pumping more money into education and reducing the state’s debt.

“It used to be that people were out looking for jobs,” Reeves said. “Today, there are jobs looking for people. That’s why we have to raise our educational achievement in the state. There are 48,000 job listings on the state website, (employers) looking for people with the right skill set, not for the jobs of 30 years ago, but for the jobs of the future.

“In response to that, we’ve spent $400 million more on education than we did six years ago,” he added.

Commercial Dispatch