In a game of escalating tax-cut proposals, House Speaker Philip Gunn, R-Clinton, will propose the biggest so far: a $1.7 billion phaseout of Mississippi’s state personal income tax over more than a decade, a top legislator said late Monday.

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Jeff Smith, R-Columbus, confirmed Monday that he plans to bring forward the proposal in his committee Tuesday.

Smith said Gunn will have a news conference following the committee meeting to advocate for the plan. Gunn declined comment Monday night through his chief of staff, Nathan Wells.

Gunn’s plan could shift this year’s debate away from business tax cuts, after lawmakers have enacted more than $350 million in business tax relief since 2012.

The move raises the bidding in Republicans’ election-year efforts to reduce taxes, even as advocates for education and other state services seek more money. The amount in question is more than a quarter of the current $6.1 billion in state money in Mississippi’s budget this year.

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