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No state has ever eliminated a personal income tax as Mississippi House leaders have proposed. This would be an experiment — a multi-billion dollar bet — that would fundamentally change the way our state funds basic government services. This decision could alter Mississippi lives for generations to come.
Reputable economists and experts can’t seem to agree on what, exactly, this tax cut would do to Mississippi’s economy. No two studies show the same results, giving many Mississippians great pause about whether this idea is fully vetted and understood. Some of the state’s top elected Republicans and Democrats are openly questioning whether Mississippi can afford such a move.
For weeks, we at Mississippi Today have been on the front lines of this critical debate, asking tough but fair questions of the elected officials who are proposing the income tax cut and of the ones who oppose it.
If you haven’t read our thorough coverage, here are some highlights: We’ve covered the varying economic scoring of the tax cut proposals; the battle lines drawn by Republican lawmakers who disagree about how much the state can afford; the growing infighting between House and Senate Republican leaders; the projections that show low-income Mississippians would be on the hook to pay more if the plan passes; and perhaps most importantly, the models that show how the proposals could negatively affect the state’s ability to fund its current government services.
As journalists, we always seek the truth. We provide context and analysis to help Mississippians connect the dots and to better understand why their government leaders are making decisions. We strive to focus our reporting on the effects proposed policies will have on everyday Mississippians who just want a better life for themselves and their children.
It is our job to be the eyes and ears of the public, to ask questions of elected officials on behalf of their constituents — most of whom have no access to ask the questions themselves.
Above all else, we are Mississippians. We care deeply about the future of the state, and it is our responsibility to hold our leaders accountable for their actions. The only agenda we have is to find and tell the Mississippi truth.
Some of our recent reporting has been the target of attacks from partisan media pushing the House income tax elimination plan. This backlash from so-called “news organizations” further highlights the importance of our journalists’ role in asking: Is this tax cut really the right move for Mississippi?
The answer to that question could very well be “yes.” But as lawmakers continue working to answer it, we’ll keep pressing every chance we get as the 2022 legislative session enters its final days.