Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant announced Tuesday afternoon on Facebook that he would call a special session of the Mississippi Legislature to begin June 5. The 2017 regular session ended earlier this year without having approved 2018 fiscal year budgets for the Department of Transportation or the Attorney General’s office, and the special session is intended to complete that budget process.
While there has been no open discussion yet of any tax increases or similar changes and the official call has not been released, taxpayers should keep a close eye on any new revenue proposals that might be considered as part of this special session. One of the more heavily debated bills during the regular session was H.B. 480, a proposal to enact sales and use tax collection requirements on remote sellers deemed to have “economic nexus” with the state.
(See Jones Walker’s prior coverage here and here and here.) Various forms of that proposal would have diverted new use tax collections to badly needed road and bridge improvements throughout the state, which the local business community strongly supported. The bill died after the Lt. Governor publicly stated that he considered the use tax collection aspect of the bill to be unconstitutional. It is unclear whether the Legislature will reconsider this proposal or other new revenue sources as it completes the 2018 budget.
In January, the Department of Revenue proposed to adopt a similar remote use tax collection requirement through regulation, but no formal action has been taken on that proposal since the Department held a public hearing on February 15.
Jones Walker will continue to monitor these legislative and regulatory developments.