Editorial: Bipartisan group wants analysis on special-interest tax breaks

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The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal reports that a bipartisan group of legislators, including Sen. David Blount, D-Jackson, Sen. Buck Clark, R-Hollandale, Sen. Terry Burton, R-Newton, and Sen. Hob Bryan, D-Amory, support a resolution introduced by Blount that would “make it more difficult to pass special-interest tax exemptions without information about how much the breaks would cost the state.”

The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal reports that a bipartisan group of legislators, including Sen. David Blount, D-Jackson, Sen. Buck Clarke, R-Hollandale, Sen. Terry Burton, R-Newton, and Sen. Hob Bryan, D-Amory, support a resolution introduced by Blount that would “make it more difficult to pass special-interest tax exemptions without information about how much the breaks would cost the state.”

The Journal editorializes:

“All four say the Legislature needs to know the potential impact of tax cut and exemption bills before they’re passed so that an accurate measure impact on state revenues is possible.

“Common sense, beginning at the household level, dictates that costs must be factored into the larger budget process. Tax breaks without revenue impact estimates invite avoidable negative consequences on revenue with impact beyond the narrower interests of particular tax breaks. …

“Passing what Bryan calls ‘special interest’ tax breaks is no different than any other revenue impact. How much will it cost?

“The idea is not to prevent tax breaks but to make sure they are fully justified based on sound estimates showing that they will not endanger general fund integrity. …

“If tax breaks take away from revenue that’s needed in the general budget somebody will pay, either through higher taxes elsewhere or in program elimination.

“Mississippi operates on a thin edge even in the best of times. Costs must be calculated for basic fiscal responsibility.”

A step in the right direction?

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