JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – A bill that could do away with the state income tax in Mississippi is now in the Mississippi Senate. House Bill 1439 passed 85-34 on Tuesday, only one day after it was introduced and passed the House Ways and Means Committee.
The bill would phase out the state’s personal income tax over 10 years, cut its grocery tax in half over five years and increase many other taxes.
According to data from the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP), the proposal to increase the state’s sales tax rate to 9.5 percent would give Mississippians the highest sales tax in the country. Meg Wiehe, deputy executive director of ITEP, was among those who analyzed the data.
“By increasing the rate to 9.5 percent over the long haul of 10 years, there is absolutely no way the state will make up for lost revenue,” she said.
Experts said while the state acknowledges that taxing foods is something that should be changed, it’s not enough paired with the increase in the sales tax rate. They said the tax change would only add to racial disparities.