BY: David Brunori
The Bryant proposal isn’t perfect. A refundable credit would be better. As the folks at the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy have noted, Bryant’s plan would provide relief to about 9 percent of low-income taxpayers. But a refundable credit would reach 45%. Moreover, the credit would kick in only if state tax revenues increase by 3 percent annually and the state’s emergency fund is fully funded.
Still, it is good that Mississippi is thinking about this issue. The state’s tax system is decidedly regressive. As readers know, I am generally not an advocate of redistributionist policies. But we should try to minimize regressivity. The poor in Mississippi pay plenty of sales and excise taxes. Bryant’s proposal is a good start to alleviate some of the regressive burdens placed on the state’s citizens. Mississippi should join the 26 states now providing EITCs.