Mississippi may soon be a modern central hub for business activity after lawmakers in the state's lower house approved tens of millions of dollars in business tax incentives.
Property and sales tax exemptions spotlighted
As reported by numerous local media outlets, House Appropriations Committee Chairman Herb Frierson estimated the batch of tax breaks passed by the Mississippi House would amount to at least $50 million a year. Supporters of the bills said it would all be in the name of spurring job creation, even if it means collecting less through revenue, which might come back to the state in time.
"Anything that creates jobs for this state ultimately creates tax dollars," said Joey Fillingane, Senate Finance Committee chairman.
Among the bills that would offer new tax incentives to businesses in the state include: House Bill 1679, which would extend a sales tax exemption to licensed builders or remodelers who use concrete and asphalt in residential construction; House Bill 1621, which provides a sales and property tax exemption for equipment used to deploy broadband technology; and House Bill 566; which would authorize an income tax credit for firms that relocate to Mississippi or expand their state-based operations.
Clean energy was also a focus of approved legislation. House Bill 1591 would enable refundable income and franchise tax credits for the costs of procuring and installing solar or other energy efficient systems. Mississippi also looked to entice healthcare businesses into setting up operations in the state, House Bill 992 would stipulate any newly licensed physicians or nurse practitioner who open a practice in a medically underserved rural area would not pay income tax on earning that total more than $100,000 a year.
Uncertain future in the Senate
While the House approved the measures with little incident, some say the legislation laden with new business tax incentives might stall or fail in the Mississippi Senate.
Frierson expressed trepidation with the amount of money the state would sacrifice to lure business investments, especially in the face of an already taxed state budget.
"There's consequences in politics," Frierson told reporters after the bills were passed, according to the Mississippi Business Journal.
While it may be difficult for employers to keep track of legislative developments in addition to overseeing daily operations, working with an HR service provider can help firms stay on top of the news and know the latest in business tax incentives.
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