Miss. considers break for inventory-tax payers

By Emily Wagster Pettus/The Associated Press

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — The Mississippi Legislature is working on a bill that would give a financial break to businesses paying the inventory tax.

House Bill 536 passed the House on Tuesday and moves to the Senate for more work.

It would increase the level of state income-tax credits for businesses that pay inventory taxes. The changes would be phased in between 2014 and 2019.

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Jeff Smith, a Republican, says the plan is a way to help small businesses without draining local tax dollars from cities and counties.

Opponents say the state could lose income-tax revenue with no guarantee that businesses will add more jobs or do other things to improve the economy.

Smith says Mississippi is one of eight states with an inventory tax.