Legislative Black Caucus: State can’t afford tax cuts

The state Legislative Black Caucus at a Wednesday press conference gave a preemptive warning to the expanded GOP legislative majority that the state budget can’t handle massive tax cuts such as those Republicans pushed unsuccessfully last session.

“What is all boils down to is we simply cannot afford these type of tax cuts,” said Sen. Kenny Wayne Jones, D-Canton, chair of the Black Caucus.

Black Caucus members pointed to recent cooling of the state economy, which forced Gov. Phil Bryant and key lawmakers on Monday to cut the current fiscal year’s revenue estimate by $65 million — raising the possibility of state agency budget cuts….

…Early this year, Republicans Gov. Phil Bryant, House Speaker Philip Gunn and Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves each pushed his own tax cut plan. Bryant’s would have given a modest break to lower income families and would have cost the state about $79 million. Reeves’ would have provided $400 million breaks for corporations, small businesses and individuals over a decade and Gunn’s would have eliminated the state income tax — $1.7 billion — phased out in as little as 15 years.