We agree with Mississippi House Speaker Billy McCoy’s position that legislative action on a tobacco tax increase can wait until the 2009 regular session.
However, when the regular session begins, Mississippians should expect a quick resolution of the tax issue that has cost taxpayers millions of dollars in regular and special session expenses to the indulgence of lawmakers and a governor unable and unwilling to come to terms.
Last week, Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant suggested in a Hattiesburg interview that Gov. Barbour call a special session in October to deal with the controversial tobacco tax question because the governor’s special tax-study commission by then will have made its recommendations for tax reform.
The Legislature, Barbour, and two lieutenant governors have argued about and debated a higher cigarette tax for four years, without resolution.