UPDATE: Furniture tax break clears House committee

By Bobby Harrison/NEMS Daily Journal

JACKSON – The House Ways and Means Committee today approved a $2,000 tax break for new cut-and-sew hires.

The action is an effort to help the state’s furniture industry, which has been losing jobs to foreign countries.

Last year, the Legislature unanimously passed a bill that would have provided tax credits to furniture companies that retained or brought back cut-and-sew jobs, which are considered the backbone of the industry in Mississippi.

But Gov. Haley Barbour vetoed the bill, saying it was too costly during an economic crunch and was flawed in other ways.

Today’s committee vote was an attempt to answer Barbour’s concerns by allowing the break only for new hires.

Check back for more updates through the day.