Speaker Philip Gunn speaks to Rotary Club

Published: Aug. 11, 2021 at 6:48 PM CDT
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MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) - Mississippi Speaker of the House Philip Gunn (R) addressed Rotarians at their weekly meeting Wednesday.

Gunn focused on getting rid of the state’s income tax. He told them that by getting rid of the income tax and raising the sales tax by 2.5 percent, it would increase the yearly GDP by more than $300 million. He also wants to cut the grocery tax by 50 percent.

“A part of our proposal would cut the grocery tax in half. We think will help those that have a lot of mouths to feed or those that are in lower income brackets that spend a higher proportion of their income on groceries,” Gunn explained.

If the proposal becomes reality, it would be phased in over a 12 year period. The first phase would eliminate income tax on the first $40,000 of someone’s income. He said that’s $1,300 more in the pockets of Mississippian’s. After seven years the threshold would increase to $100,000. At that point, 83 percent of Mississippians would pay no income tax. At the 12 year mark the income tax would be gone completely.

The plan would make up for the revenue loss by raising sales tax. The proposal would take Mississippi from 7 percent to 9.5 percent, which Gunn claims is lower than states already without an income tax.

“We believe that there’s nothing better we could ever do for the people of the state of Mississippi than let them keep more of their hard earned dollars,” Gunn said. “With that they are able to improve the lives of their families, the lives of their communities, they can give more to their church. I just don’t think anyone would disagree.”

Currently, nine states are without an income tax. If this plan goes through, then Mississippi would become the 10th state. Out of those 10, Mississippi would have the highest sales tax rate, which would be 9.5 percent. That wouldn’t include local taxes like meridian’s food and beverage, which adds an additional 2 percent.

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