Tax deal done, but budget is still incomplete at State Capitol

Published: Mar. 28, 2022 at 7:15 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Lawmakers are taking budget talks down to the wire as the legislative session enters its final days. They’ve agreed on a tax cut plan. But as of Monday evening, the budget wasn’t quite done. So, they’ll likely have to suspend the rules Tuesday to work around that.

Look, we get it, there’s been a lot of tax talk this session. So, what does the deal the House and Senate approved mean for you?

“For a person making 40,000 bucks a year, that’s a tax savings of about $425 a year,” explained Rep. Jason White, Speaker Pro Tempore. “For a married couple filing jointly making up to 80,000, it’s a tax cut of over $800 a year.”

What it won’t do? Fully eliminate the income tax.

“I think don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good in this situation,” noted Sen. Joey Fillingane. “Let’s reach a fair compromise, which looks like has been reached and move forward.”

Democrats still fear the consequences of the cuts.

“I’m afraid at some point we’re going to run short, and it’s going to fall back on education, it’s going to fall back on the necessities, that necessities of life takes a priority over privileges, in my opinion,” added Sen. David Jordan.

And Sen. Hillman Frazier explains that waiting on that deal has delayed other key items.

“Because of the politics behind the income tax bill and ARPA funding,” said Sen. Frazier. “We weren’t able to adopt the budget because of uncertainty. But the emanating investment income taxes, we’re removing revenue from our pool of money. So that’s one reason why we couldn’t adopt the budget because we didn’t know how much money would be at this point.”

But it has cleared the way for ARPA negotiations.

“We’re very close on a what I would call it an encompassing your global plan to spend about $1.4 or $1.5 billion of the $1.8 this session, we are very close on an agreement there,” noted Rep. White.

Speaker Pro Tempore Jason White says so far that ARPA breakdown may include large appropriations for water/sewer project, workforce development and health care needs.

As for the tax cut bill, the Governor indicated on social media that he thinks it’s a good step, but not the end of the fight. So, we’ll wait now to see if he signs off on it or pushes for full income tax elimination as he previously indicated he was willing to do.

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