Jackson - Republicans today passed measures that will improve the economic environment and help create jobs in Mississippi. Gov. Phil Bryant signed four pieces of legislation, including two of the longest sought-after goal of conservatives, workers' compensation reform and inventory tax relief.
"This was the most job friendly, business friendly legislative session in modern Mississippi history," said Bryant.
"We have worked on eliminating the inventory tax for so many years. This tax credit is a very good beginning."
Sen. Will Longwitz (R-Madison), author of the workers' compensation bill, said economic recovery in Mississippi starts with these long-awaited reforms. "Every business should know they can compensate injured workers in a system that treats everyone fairly. That's what this workers' comp bill does. We hope it will reduce costs, return fairness, and also improve workplace safety and increase some worker benefits.
"I've spoken with many frustrated job creators in our state," Longwitz continued. "Right now, they know there's no point in fighting bad comp claims, because they know they're going to lose. Under this new law, employers will no longer be presumed guilty from the get-go."
Bryant said that the inventory tax helps the economy because it removes a disincentive for job growth. “An essential factor in creating a climate ripe for job creation is eliminating unnecessary taxes and regulations,” Bryant said. “For years, we have worked to revise Mississippi’s outdated inventory tax system, and today I am signing a law that provides relief to the state’s job creators.”
With the new tax relief, businesses that pay inventory tax are eligible for tax credits against their state income tax liability. Bryant also signed bills creating health care zones aimed at attracting industry and increasing health care options, and a dual-enrollment program for high school students seeking skills training.
Both Republicans said Monday that they hope these measures represent the first step in new laws under Republican leadership. "My hope," said Longwitz, "Is that Mississippi will be known as the best place to open a business in America. More jobs mean better lives for our families and our children. Now we can pass the conservative, pro-family legislation that Mississippians expect."