Jackson, Miss. — Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves wants legislators to phase out the personal income tax over several years and spend more on economic development, infrastructure, and the judiciary.
The Republican governor also wants more Capitol Police funding as the state-run agency expands its patrols in Jackson. Wednesday saw Reeves' fiscal 2025 budget proposals, which begin July 1.
The Republican-controlled Legislature may use the document to allocate state funds. House and Senate budget writers have historically ignored governors' budget suggestions, even when they're from the same party.
Mississippi is lowering its personal income tax under Reeves' 2022 bill. In his proposed budget, he plans to eliminate the tax by 2029. Reeves said eliminating the income tax would not involve lowering spending or boosting taxes. “Rather, our government must live within its means.
A law passed last year required Capitol Police to expand, despite opposition from Jackson citizens who feared it would allow the white and Republican-controlled state government to seize power from Democratically elected authorities in the majority-Black city. Capitol Police territory grows July 1.
In 2022, Reeves praised Hattiesburg, stating that it was a nice day to not be in Jackson. He also praised the capital city in his budget document. “It is a wonderful place filled with extraordinary people,” Reeves remarked Wednesday. “Everyone who lives or visits our state's cultural hub deserves to feel safe. Jackson has many virtues, but it has a significant crime problem.
Writing a state budget takes months, and the governor and legislature leaders typically agree on a revenue forecast based on economic trends.
However, Reeves declined a $7.5 billion revenue forecast when he met with top legislators in November. Less than the state spends this fiscal year. The governor called the amount “arbitrarily” low, which might hamper his income tax reform effort. His Wednesday budget recommends spending over $10 billion in public funds.
The 14-member Joint Legislative Budget Committee generally provides its initial spending recommendations in December, but it didn't because of Reeves' revenue estimate discrepancy. The House and Senate must decide on education, health care, prisons, and other state government spending by early May.
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