Barbour Says He Wants to Cut Taxes

By: Jon Kalahar Email
By: Jon Kalahar Email

A tight budget year for the state of Mississippi means some difficult decisions will have to be made.

Gov. Haley Barbour released the budget recommendation he will take to the state legislature for approval. The good news is, it is a balanced plan.

"The vast majority of state general fund agencies will be asked to operate in FY '09 for the same amount of funding as they operate in FY '08," said Barbour.

Only education, Medicaid and human services will receive increases to their budgets for fiscal year 2009 which begins July 1.

In education, the governor said he will fund the Mississippi Adequate Education Program, dyslexia screenings, pay raises for teachers with 25 years of experience, and a teacher mentoring program.

Barbour's budget will also ask the legislature to create more flexible budgets for state agencies. He says that will save tens of millions of dollars.

"Because four years ago the legislature literally allowed this to happen at the department of corrections. They reduced their spending $15 million," said Barbour.

And by allowing state agencies to have more flexibility in their budget, that means more money back in your pocket in the form of tax cuts.

Barbour said the state will be run more like Mississippians manage their own households and businesses.

"One of the keys to having the tax cuts that Mississippians deserves is not just to have continuous increases in spending, when if we run the government more like we run our own families and businesses, we get a lot more done for a whole lot less and taxpayers keep more of the money," the governor said.

Barbour said he just needs the legislature to agree with him. he said he would like to fund pay raises for judges, as well as increases for higher education, but there wasn't enough money.

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