“I was informed by the Tax Commission that the State was only able to reimburse counties 57% for tags purchased in February. This now leaves the State owing counties a total of $7.2 million, and the Tax Commission estimates that the State will owe the counties as much as $33 million by July 1st. As we continue negotiations with the House, I believe it is prudent to move forward and offset the increase in car tags with a cigarette tax increase. If we do not solve this problem now, it is likely that the cost of car tags could double in 2009 thereby imposing a heavy burden on Mississippi families in the middle of these tough economic times.

I would also point out that any plan to use money from the rainy day fund to offset this increase is fiscally irresponsible and will not be supported by the Senate. The money from the rainy day fund is essential to Mississippi’s budget process as we look beyond 2010.”

Lt. Governor Phil Bryant Press Release