In a move to demonstrate their friendliness to the business community, members of the Mississippi Legislature voted to eliminate the franchise tax, thereby reducing the state's revenue by $260 million for the current fiscal year.
The loss of this substantial amount of money from our treasury is particularly significant since, per capita, we are the most impoverished state in the nation.
Ironically, on virtually the same day this magnanimous piece of legislation was enacted, it was stabbed in the heart by passage of HB 1523. The bill, euphemistically identified as a measure to protect "religious freedom," in fact provides license to discriminate against an extensive community of highly productive but now legally stigmatized Mississippians.
The folly of the bill's passage was articulated in a letter signed by 74 prominent business CEOs and sent to Gov. Phil Bryant requesting repeal of HB 1523.
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In short, the state's largess to business by eliminating the franchise tax was cancelled out by the foolish and very unnecessary passage of HB 1523.
Let's hope our legislators can admit a mistake and do the right thing by repealing this onerous bill.