Topping news in Mississippi this week:
- With the new fiscal year beginning July 1, Mississippi’s largest single tax cut went into effect. By the end of its 10-year rollout the tax cut will do three things: Get rid of the corporate franchise tax, the 3 percent individual income and corporate income tax brackets and allow self-employed Mississippians to exempt part of their federal self employment tax on their state tax filings. In a three part series this week, our Adam Ganucheau reached out to supporters and critics of the tax cut to examine what they believe its projected impact will be.
- Late last week, Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann grabbed national headlines with his refusal to hand over private voter information with the Trump administration, but Thursday Hosemann acknowledged he’s shared that same information with the man leading the White House’s voter file examination. Hosemann’s office has shared birthdates, addresses and the last four digits of Mississippians’ Social Security numbers with a program launched in 2005 by the Kansas Secretary of State’s office. Kris Kobach, an adviser to President Donald Trump, is now in charge of that program. According to Hosemann, there is a difference between the voter registration crosscheck program and last week’s request. For the crosscheck program, the info is encrypted and permanently deleted, but there was no guarantee of that from the White House’s new commission, Hosemann said.
- Also on Thursday, Ole Miss announced that it will change the name of Vardaman Hall and place plaques on at least eight other sites around campus to explain the history of those sites. According to the university’s press release, Vardman Hall, named after former Mississippi Gov. James Vardaman, will change because he “actively promoted some morally odious practice.” Plaques standing at Lamar, Longstreet and George Halls will explain the history of those the building are named after. A single plaque will be placed for four building recognizing that they were built with slave labor.