State Attorney General Jim Hood (D) “wants to roll back the tax cuts passed by the legislature, but fell just short of advocating for a gasoline tax increase to fund infrastructure,” at the Stennis Capitol Press Forum Monday.
“Hood wants more spending for infrastructure, citing a 2015 report by the Mississippi Economic Council that says taxpayers need to spend $375 million more per year on roads and bridges. He says how it’s funded depends on who gets elected to the legislature.”
Hood: “I think if we have the same folks back (in the legislature), with a little bit of leadership, we present them with the opportunity to fund the road bill, you’re going to see the pressure on by the voters this next election cycle to figure out a way that we’re able to pay for our roads.”
“He also said that the majority of the $400 million tax cut passed by the Legislature that eliminated one income tax bracket and started the phase out of the state’s corporate franchise tax goes to out-of-state corporations. Hood also said he favors more spending on education, including free tuition for community college students, and expanding Medicaid. … Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves (R) said earlier this year at the Stennis luncheon that he doesn’t support expanding Medicaid, which he called Obamacare.” (Mississippi Center for Public Policy)
LESS SPENDING. “The amount of money appropriated to pay for state government for the last fiscal year – 2018 – is $260 million less than what was spent in fiscal year 2008 in inflationary dollars. State leaders, Gov. Phil Bryant (R) [and Reeves] would argue the reduction in spending was needed to ‘right-size government.’”
Bryant: ”You will also be encouraged to know we have dramatically cut the cost of government by reducing the number of state employees in the last seven years by nearly 5,000. This effort has resulted in a savings of more than $64 million for the taxpayers of Mississippi.”
“That most likely will be a large issue in state elections later this year. In other words, were the cuts in state government and accompanying tax cuts what were needed for the well being of the state or was more funding needed in areas like education, health care and transportation?” (Biloxi Sun Herald)