Shortfalls and cuts this fiscal year bode ill for next year. Legislators will start with less and can expect less from next year’s collections.
Legislators’ efforts to up revenue are meeting opposition. A bill to tax fantasy sports gambling, eh, gaming, failed. A bill to push out-of-state companies to collect sales taxes (called use taxes), similar to one adopted in Alabama, is under attack by the Mississippi Tea Party. They also attacked Commissioner of Revenue Herb Frierson for getting Amazon to voluntarily collect taxes on its sales. Proposals to raise revenue to fix deteriorating roads and bridges continue to be attacked by the Mississippi branch of Americans for Prosperity.
Another hit to next year’s finances come as cuts to business taxes and personal income taxes, passed last year, begin phasing in.
In the face of these financial troubles, it only makes sense for state agencies to right size staffing. The House narrowly passed and sent to the Senate a bill allowing agency heads to ignore civil service rules to streamline operations.