NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


September 14, 2007

Mississippi has a regressive tax structure that should be revised to ease the load on working families, says Ed Sivak, director of the Mississippi Economic Policy Center (MEPC).

According to researchers with the MEPC:

  • The top 20 percent of earners in Mississippi, those making more than $100,000 a year, pay on average about 7 percent of their income in some sort of taxes -- income tax, sales tax or other types.
  • People earning about $15,000 a year pay 11.5 percent of their income in some type of taxes.

Republican Governor Haley Barbour says he wants to conduct a comprehensive study that could lead to state tax cuts -- possibly in a year or two.  His Democratic opponent in the November (when Barbour seeks reelection), attorney John Arthur Eaves Junior, says Mississippi should reduce the sales tax on groceries and increase the sales tax on cigarettes.

  • Mississippi has the highest state grocery tax in the nation, at 7 percent.
  • It also has the third-lowest cigarette excise tax, at 18 cents a pack. 
  • Barbour has opposed cigarette-grocery tax swap bills the past two years.


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