/Tax cut, teacher pay raise proposals sail through House

Tax cut, teacher pay raise proposals sail through House

Both bills now move to the Senate where they are currently being worked on by senators on their tax cuts and teacher pay increases bills. Although both bills were passed by the House in the second week 2022 session, the Senate will likely not know the final outcome of both proposals until the end of the 90-day session. House Speaker Philip Gunn stated that his chamber sent a strong message to the House on Wednesday. Gunn, a Republican hailing from Clinton, stated that “these two items were top-of-the-line agenda items.” “We wanted to get them both out as soon as possible. We were glad that they were passed quickly. Both had overwhelming support,” I believe. Two-year-old speaker Mississippi Tax Freedom Act was passed with 97-12. All the no votes came from a minority of the 43 member Democratic caucus. Nine Democrats voted absent or did not vote. The START Act (the Strategically Advancing the Recruitment and Retention Of Teachers) was passed 114-6. Six members of the 77 member Republican caucus voted against it. Trey Lamar (R-Senatobia), House Ways and Means Chair, presented the tax bill before the House members. He pointed out that by passing both bills simultaneously, it sent a signal that the Legislature could enact historic tax cuts while still meeting the state’s needs. READ MORE – Gunn’s signature plan to eliminate income taxes and reduce food taxes READ MORE : House Education Chair Richard Bennett (R-Long Beach) said that the House’s teacher pay proposal would give a $4,000 raise for all teachers, as well as more than $6,000 for certain teachers, starting July 1. Bennett stated that the teacher pay increase was necessary because young people aren’t interested in teaching. Bennett stated that the state is competing with other states to hire teachers. Lamar stated that the tax bill was historic, transformative and game-changing legislation. This bill is transformative. It would eliminate the state income tax over a period of 10 to 12 years. It would also reduce the food sales tax from 7% to 5.5% in July, and eventually reduce it to 4%. The tax bill would also reduce the car tag tax by 35%. The bill raises the sales tax on most retail products from 7% to 8.5% to partially offset the huge cut. The bill is expected to reduce taxes by $1.5 billion when fully implemented. The state-support budget currently stands at $6.6 billion. Rep. Zakiya Sommers (D-Jackson) unsuccessfully proposed an amendment to tax bill that would have provided low-income “working families”, an additional tax break. They would have been entitled to 15% of the earned income credit that they receive from federal government. Based on their income and dependents, the earned income credit provides funds for low-income working families. Lamar indicated that he would not rule out working later with Summers to incorporate her proposal, once he has received more information about the program. Greenville Democrat John Hines said that he supports the tax cut bill as “it’s an opportunity to give people some relief in buying groceries and car tags.” Washington County’s biggest complaint is about the price of car tags. Hines said that the House passing the bill was an opportunity to “build consensus.” Hines stated that the bill needed to be “tweaked,” but there’s still time. Lamar stated that there was money available to pay both the teacher raise and the tax cut due to last year’s record 15.9% revenue growth. He also predicted double-digit growth in the current fiscal year. The House did not debate the proposal. However, One Voice, an advocacy nonprofit for working families, stated that the proposal would still leave the state with the additional burden of replacing the lost revenue from tax cuts with higher sales taxes on everyday goods. According to the House leadership, the proposal to raise the teacher salary in Mississippi would cost $219 million. It would increase the starting teacher’s pay from $37,000 annually to $43,124 annually. This compares to $39,897 in the region and $41,163 in the country. The bill provides for a $2,000 salary increase for teacher assistants.