Special panels tackle taxes, budget

House Speaker Philip Gunn and Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves say they want to see Mississippi’s taxes shift from income-based to user-fee and also want more intensive legislative scrutiny of state government spending.

The two leaders on Monday presided over the first meeting of numerous new legislative “working groups” that will meet for the rest of the year and make recommendations for comprehensive tax and budget reform. Gunn and Reeves will serve as co-chairs of an 18-member bipartisan tax committee. Ten other committees will scrutinize the spending of most major state agencies.

“I’d like to see more of a user-based (tax) system than income-based, because I think everybody ought to have skin in the game,” Gunn said to the crowd of lawmakers, lobbyists and government staffers. On spending, he said, “We’re not on a witch hunt here. At least not yet.”…

…Reeves said he, Gunn and Gov. Phil Bryant “are all on the same page on working to ensure a tax code that encourages economic growth, not discourages it.”

Clarion Ledger