Bryan Opposes Jackson's Sales-Tax Increase | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

Bryan Opposes Jackson's Sales-Tax Increase

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The city's small business grants program has helped new businesses open and expand in the capital city.

Sen. Hob Bryan, D-Amory, said he could not support a 1-cent sales-tax increase in Jackson to fund infrastructure repairs because the tax is too regressive, costing low-income residents proportionally more than those with higher incomes.

He added that Jackson's suburban businesses would inevitably benefit from the city's higher sales tax because shoppers will go outside the city limits to buy goods cheaper. "Local sales tax increases like this work to the disadvantage of the areas of the state that need it most and to the great advantage of those that need it least," Bryan told the Jackson Free Press today.

On Monday, legislators approved the city of Jackson's request to allow the city to hold a referendum vote on a sales-tax increase to fund infrastructure upgrades and repairs. Three-fifths of Jackson's voters, or 60 percent, must approve the tax increase. Bryan, however, said the sales tax increase would ultimately hurt the city of Jackson, and said the state should consider a wider-scale tax increase to support municipal infrastructure work.

"I think what we need to do is look at infrastructure not just in the city, but throughout the state. We have a statewide infrastructure problem," Bryan said. "Look at the state infrastructure needs and see how we might reach them. If we're going to have some sales taxes, then at least distribute the sales tax to where the need is and not just to where the tax is collected."

The Mississippi Legislature approved an identical bill during Mayor Frank Melton's administration. Recently, however, Mayor Harvey Johnson Jr. sought to change the law so that members of a commission overseeing the expenditure of the new revenue live inside the city of Jackson. The new bill, if signed by the governor, creates a commission whose members are appointed by the lieutenant governor, the governor, the speaker of the Mississippi House of Representatives and Jackson's mayor.

Also see: Sales-Tax Commission Needed for Jackson?

Previous Comments

ID
162922
Comment

Since Mr. Bryan is opposed to the proposed sales tax, calling it regressive (and I don't disagree with that, or his points about suburban shopping), perhaps he should spearhead an effort to make the State waive its tax exempt status on its properties in Jackson, or at least make annual contributions to the City directly tied to municipal infrastructure improvements in lieu.

Author
Jeff Lucas
Date
2011-03-30T10:23:53-06:00
ID
162923
Comment

@ Jeff Lucas - I second that motion

Author
Duan C.
Date
2011-03-30T11:59:25-06:00
ID
162926
Comment

This bill is no where near "identical" to the previous bill. The allocation of funds is different. The commission make up is different. The commission's responsibilities are differnt. The repealer is different.

Author
thabian
Date
2011-03-30T12:17:24-06:00
ID
162940
Comment

Jeff, Byran is a vocal supporter of such a proposal.

Author
jbreland
Date
2011-03-31T09:33:41-06:00
ID
162942
Comment

Does any one really think the citizens of Jackson are going to vote to increase their taxes in this time of economic depression? The price of gas is sky high, many people have lost their jobs, many others are just getting by and are fearful of losing their jobs. People on fixed incomes are seeing their spending power shrinking. How does the city administration expect to sell this white elephant to the voters? If I were a betting man I would bet this tax increase vote will not get 40% of the voters voting for it.No matter what changes were made in the bill it has about a snowball's chance in h__l of getting voted into law.

Author
wellington
Date
2011-03-31T12:47:10-06:00
ID
162944
Comment

Did the legislature pass a bill to let Brandon voters decide on a tax increase? What's different now except that it's Jackson and we all know how much the legislature loves Jackson. Sarcasm off.

Author
golden eagle
Date
2011-03-31T13:16:30-06:00

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