A Special Session to Address Infrastructure

Bridges and Roads

A special session for August 23 to deal with infrastructure funding and money from the BP settlement has been called, likely meaning a compromise has been reached by Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves and House Speaker Philip Gunn on how to increase the funding for the state’s infrastructure needs. How much these needs are is up for debate.

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Year of the Mississippi Craft Distillers

Craft Distillers

In recent years, the Legislature has helped the craft brewing industry, authorizing the sale of high gravity beers (those with higher alcohol content) and allowing sales of beer to those who visit breweries. This year, it was the turn of the craft distillers and the Legislature’s ability to pass legislation to help small business owners seeking to make their living in distilling and brewing should be saluted.

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City and County Tourism Taxes – Part I: The Way the System Works

City and County Tourism Taxes on Restaurants and Hotels

Cities and counties continue to collect an ever-enlarging amount of tourism taxes on restaurants and hotels. Since 2004, the amount collected by the Mississippi Department of Revenue and distributed to the taxing jurisdictions has increased 151 percent. This is due to the number of localities collecting the taxes, which has increased from 59 to 83.

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Taxpayer Contributions To Charities

Taxpayer Contributions to Charities

The state auditor needs to be given the statutory authority to investigate any non-profit organization receiving taxpayer funds. The taxpayer funds given to non-profits and all associated documentation should be subject to open records laws. 

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Local and Private Bills – “Tourism” Taxes

Local and Private Bills - Tourism Taxes

Re-authorized tourism taxes need a mandate from the citizens paying the tax and the legislature shouldn’t be in the business of retroactively allowing cities and counties to collect expired taxes. Anything less is not in keeping with the values of an elected republic.

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