QUESTION FOR TODAY: Do corporate tax cuts and incentives hurt our public schools (k-20)?
There seems to be sound bites and spins everywhere about this – mostly from the elected leaders who passed them, and the corporate groups that received them. But, what about the reality – just the numbers that impact daily Mississippians:
1. Mississippi has given away over $2 Billion in corporate tax cuts and incentive packages since 2008.
2. Mississippi has underfunded public schools by $2 Billion since 2008 (the MAEP law is ignored by the legislature).
3. Mississippi has underfunded the Classroom Supply Fund by $192 Million since 2008 (Section 37-62-33 (3)(iii) is ignored by the legislature).
4. Mississippi has FEWER jobs in 2016 than in 2008 (1/2008 Unemployment rate six percent / 1/2016 rate = 6.7 percent / Jobs 1/2008 = 1,240,848 vs. Jobs 1/2016 = 1,211,6490)
5. Mississippi is still ranked last in public education.
6. Mississippi is still ranked last in “Best States for Businesses & Careers.” (Forbes Magazine).
7. Mississippi is still No. 1 in poverty.
8. When local schools are underfunded by legislators & senators, they have only two choices:
a. Cut basic services, supplies and teachers, or,
b. Raise local school taxes to cover the state shortage.
MY CONCLUSION: Cutting taxes when you can’t pay for basic services hurts public education. It also fails to move Mississippi out of 50th in anything.
Jay Hughes is the state representative for District 12 in the Mississippi House of Representatives. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.