The Clarion-Ledger, 5/20/8

A group studying Mississippi’s tax structure is getting plenty of contradictory advice from business groups, elected officials and private residents.

Owners of small businesses said during a public meeting Monday that they want to reduce or eliminate the inventory tax. City and county leaders warned the loss of revenue from inventory taxes would force them to cut services or increase property taxes.

Advocates for the poor want to reduce the state’s 7 percent sales tax rate, particularly on groceries. A Jackson man who is tired of his property taxes increasing every few years when his home is reappraised said some sales taxes should increase – not on groceries, but on other, nonessential items.

Charles Kenny, 61, said with sales taxes, even people who don’t own property are paying for government services a few pennies at a time.

“If you can’t afford it, you won’t buy it,” said Kenny, who works as a manufacturer’s representative.