Thursday, January 19, 2006

PRESS CLIPPINGS: Thursday, January 19, 2006

1. We can all believe the audacity of the governor by now. I'm not sure where to begin on his hypocriticalness. Let's start by the fact that he's being irresponsible by trying to scare municipalities and educators. This will not affect MAEP funding, and the Legislature will fix any shortfalls for municipalities. This has already been guaranteed. And to listen to the governor say he is against any bill that would put an unfunded mandate on a lower government is preposterous. His refusal to fund state services at an adequate level has passed the tax burden to our cities and counties for two years. This is a good bill, and the governor's veto should be overridden!
Tax bill up in smoke? - The Clarion-Ledger:
Lt. Gov. Amy Tuck's bold tax bill is back in her court today.Gov. Haley Barbour on Wednesday sent a bill that raises the cigarette tax while lowering the cost of a trip to the grocery store back to the Legislature in a rare veto ceremony.

"It is irresponsible to cut Mississippi's budget revenue while we're trying to recover from Hurricane Katrina, but this bill does that," Barbour said before the veto.
2. The C-L is still fighting the good fight on the Grocery Tax Bill.
Veto - The Clarion-Ledger:
Gov. Haley Barbour makes a very persuasive argument for vetoing the Legislature's tobacco/grocery tax shift, but his view is askew in several respects.

The bill would hike cigarette taxes from the country's third lowest rate at 18 cents per pack to $1 by 2007 and phase out the 7 percent sales tax on groceries. Barbour complains that it will take revenue from cities that need it at a difficult time and that the tobacco tax won't make up for the losses. The impact numbers are educated guesses, but hiking tobacco taxes and eliminating grocery taxes may not be revenue neutral. That is still no reason not to do it.
3. The Jackson Free Press has an interesting discussion going on about the governor's veto of the grocery bill.
Jackson Free Press | Barbour: 'Why I'll Veto the Tax Bill':
4. The Meridian Star has endorsed the Grocery Tax Cut Bill.
Meridian Mississippi News - The Meridian Star:
Gov. Haley Barbour finds himself in a political pickle early in the 2006 legislative session. By Thursday, he must decide whether to sign or veto a bill, passed overwhelmingly by the Legislature, to jack up the state's cigarette tax and phase out its sales tax on groceries. Barbour has a third option, which we recommend he exercise: Let the bill become law without his signature.

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