Barbour Vetoes Proposed Tax Change

By: The Associated Press
By: The Associated Press

Gov. Haley Barbour has vetoed a bill that would phase out taxes on groceries and increase them on cigarettes.

Barbour said Wednesday the bill would shortchange towns and cities already struggling to recover from Hurricane Katrina and "the bill would compromise the state's ability to fund education."

The governor has said repeatedly that he opposes tax increases on any goods or services.

Barbour said eliminating grocery taxes could actually lead to hikes in municipal ad valorem taxes and income taxes.

Overriding a veto takes a two-thirds majority in both the House and Senate. The bill passed with more than two-thirds of the vote. But top lawmakers say it's tough to predict whether those margins will hold.

Barbour would need to persuade at least three senators who voted for the bill to flip their decision and support him in a veto.

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