Under a bill that has passed the House and awaits Senate debate, the personal income tax would be reduced a bit at a time, and only during years when state revenue increases at least 3 percent. Under the speediest scenario, the tax would disappear after 15 years. If the economy sputters, the phaseout would take longer.
“I think a lot of people have failed to understand it,” (Speaker Philip) Gunn, R-Clinton, said Monday at a forum sponsored by the Capitol press corps and Mississippi State University’s Stennis Institute of Government.
Gunn, who is a Baptist church elder, compared the tax cut proposal to tithing at church.
“You give a tithe out of your increase. At least, that’s my understanding of scripture,” Gunn said.
“If you start the year and you’ve 10 goats and you end the year with 10 goats, you don’t give a tithe because you haven’t had any increase,” he said. “But if you start the year with 10 goats and you finish the year with 20 goats, according to scripture you give a tenth. So, you’re going to give one goat to the church. But you get to keep the other nine.”
Mississippi’s current budget is just over $6 billion, with about $1.7 billion coming from the state income tax.