A bill that eliminates the income tax for most Mississippi workers has just passed the House, clearing a crucial hurdle in the process to becoming law. If the bill (HB 1439) passes, Mississippi workers would have thousands of extra dollars in their pocket each year.

The bill was authored by House Speaker Philip Gunn and co-authored by Rep. Trey Lamar, Rep. Jason White, Rep. Jeffrey Guice, Rep. Dan Eubanks, Rep. Brady Williamson, Rep. Steve Hopkins, Rep. Chris Brown, Rep. Dana Criswell, Rep. Gene Newman, Rep. Bill Kinkade, and Rep. Jansen Owen.

The bill was passed with a vote of 85 to 34.

HB 1439 will now move onto the Senate for further consideration.

Everybody on a payroll in Mississippi today pays $1 in state income tax out of every $20 they earn – on top of all the other taxes they have to pay. Speaker Gunn’s proposal would raise the threshold for income tax, meaning the first $47,700 earned is tax exempt. For married couples, the threshold would rise to $95,400.

The bill would seek to phase out the income tax over time. It would also cut our state’s extremely high grocery tax in half, from 7% to 3.5% over time. To offset the lost revenue, the bill would increase the sales tax rate by 2.5% from 7% to 9.5%.

“This is great news for Mississippi”, said President of the Mississippi Center for Public Policy, Douglas Carswell.  “Giving workers a tax break will boost the state’s economy.  It is also morally the right thing for folk to be free to keep more of what they’ve earned.”

“Instead of outright abolition of income tax, it looks like this proposal is a step towards phasing income tax out,” explained Carswell, whose think tank has been at the forefront of efforts to eliminate the tax.

“Instead of asking if we can afford to end the income tax, we ought to ask if we can afford not to. Fast growing southern states like Texas, Tennessee, and Florida don’t have income tax. That’s why incomes in those states are rising and job creation is flourishing. Mississippi could do the same, too.”

“This bill will increase sales tax, which is not normally something we would agree with. However, if taxes must be levied, they should be levied on consumption, rather than income.”

“We are also relieved that this bill proposes lowering taxes on groceries. That will help families struggling to make ends meet.”

“Mississippi needs bold action to grow. We welcome Speaker Gunn’s leadership and encourage swift action by Lt. Gov. Delbert Hosemann.”

If you are interested in signaling your support for income tax elimination, then be sure to sign this petition.