House passes smaller tax cut as some still seek road money

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By Jeff Amy, The Associate Press


House members passed a pared-down tax cut Tuesday, even as the chamber’s leaders indicated they were still grasping for a way to package tax reductions with increases in transportation funding.

The House voted 76-42 to pass an amended version of Senate Bill 2858. It now calls for cutting $143 million in personal income taxes beginning Jan. 1, raising the threshold for paying state income taxes to $10,000. Anyone making that much would get a $150 tax cut.

The measure moves back to the Senate, where the original measure calling for $575 million in corporate franchise, income tax and self-employment tax cuts has been one of Republican Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves’ top priorities.

Rep. Robert Foster, R-Hernando, was among Republicans Tuesday who tried to push for the Senate’s full tax cut.

“The only way to force government to be more efficient is to cut this budget,” said the freshman, who cut his political teeth opposing a city tax in Hernando.

He was supported by Rep. Joel Bomgar, R-Madison, another freshman who questioned why House Republicans supported a $1-billion-plus move to phase out the state income tax last year before elections, but are lukewarm to a smaller cut this year.

“There is no reason why, if a tax cut was a good idea last year, it’s a bad idea this year,” Bomgar said.

Read more here at The SunHerald.