So does this explanation track Mississippi’s revenue woes? Yes, to a strong degree, but not completely. Falling energy prices certainly impacted Mississippi, which had in recent years become a rather vibrant energy-producing state.
Gov. Phil Bryant told an energy symposium in 2012: “We are on the cutting edge of global energy technologies right here, right now in Mississippi.”
Slower-than-average sales tax collections are definitely a factor in Mississippi, where sales tax is the bedrock of the state’s General Fund revenue stream.
Without question, the continued growth of untaxed internet sales erodes sales tax collections heretofore made by bricks-and-mortar merchants.
Another factor is less accepted by national economists, but is a long-held belief of Mississippi lawmakers and others who observe the state’s economy – and that is that Mississippi is slower to go into economic declines and slower still to come out of them than the rest of the country.