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House passes tax plan to slow the brain drain in Mississippi


Mississippi has a bright-lights-big-city problem ... The breaks could extend two more years if those people buy real estate, start a business that employs at least two people or work as K-12 teachers. “We’re hoping this will entice some of our best ...


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University of Mississippi students walk across campus in Oxford, Missin 2010State legislators are trying to make staying in state to work more attractive to college graduates Bruce Newman Oxford Eagle / AP / File University of Mississippi students walk across campus in Oxford, Missin 2010State legislators are trying to make staying in state to work more attractive to college graduates Bruce Newman Oxford Eagle / AP / File jQuery(document).ready(function () { mi.leadAssets.init(); }); State Politics House passes tax plan to slow the brain drain in Mississippi By EMILY WAGSTER PETTUS Associated Press LinkedIn Google+ Pinterest Reddit Print Order Reprint of this Story $(document).ready(function () { mi.articleShareTools.init({ nextLinkedin: '7754', nextPinterest: '7781' }); mi.socialSharingScroll.init(); }); February 19, 2018 05:00 AM JACKSON Mississippi has a bright-lights-big-city problem, with a significant number of college graduates earning their degrees in this mostly rural state and then departing for bigger paychecks and expanded cultural opportunities in Atlanta, Dallas, Nashville and beyond Not everybody packs the car and heads out once they have a diploma in handBut brain drain is common enough that some policymakers are starting to recognize it as a long-term problem for the economic well-being of Mississippi, which has long been one of the poorest states in the nation House Bill 1550 passed the House with broad bipartisan support last weekIt offers tax breaks to people who earn bachelor’s degrees or professional degrees and then either stay in Mississippi, or move into the state, to workIf the bill becomes law, grads could essentially skip paying state income tax for three yearsThe breaks could extend two more years if those people buy real estate, start a business that employs at least two people or work as K-12 teachers “We’re hoping this will entice some of our best and brightest to stay here,” Republican RepTrey Lamar of Senatobia, one of the bill’s authors, told his House colleagues during a debate jQuery(document).ready(function () { mi.renderNewsletterIframe.init({ container: '#newsletter-signUpWidget', url: 'http://x.email.sunherald.com/ats/url.aspx?cr=663&wu=98,http://x.email.sunherald.com/ats/url.aspx?cr=663&wu=100,http://x.email.sunherald.com/ats/url.aspx?cr=663&wu=102' }); }); Never miss a local story. 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SUBSCRIBE NOW jQuery(document).ready(function () { mi.calltoActionCtrl.init(); }); Promoters say the idea is to keep or attract college grads in the hopes that they will put down roots in Mississippi and maybe start their familiesA relatively short-term hit to state tax revenue could turn into a long-term gain if people settle in for the long term and keep earning in Mississippi, paying their income taxes once the breaks expire Democratic RepAdrienne Wooten of Jackson, who is an attorney, asked Lamar why the tax breaks should be limited to recent college graduatesSpecifically, she said: “I’m curious why I’m not getting the tax exemption… I’m tired of paying Uncle Sam like the next person.” Others in the chamber probably shared that sentiment – and the question is likely to arise in other discussions about the bill, both inside and outside the Capitol Another valid question: Why not offer the tax breaks to people who earn degrees from community colleges but don’t pursue or complete a four-year degree? Plenty of people with two-year degrees might be tempted to move out of state to earn more moneyAren’t they also in the “best and brightest” category? The bill passed the House 118-0, and moves to the Senate for more consideration Only slightly more than half of the people who graduate from Mississippi’s eight public universities are still working in the state five years after they graduate, according to a report prepared for the state College Board in 2016Those most likely to leave were in engineering, math and physical sciences, where paychecks are likely to be larger Republican LtGovTate Reeves, who presides over the Senate, contends the retention numbers for grads are not as bad as they lookHe says many students come from other states to attend college in Mississippi and they could be returning home once they earn their degrees Mississippi’s population is about 2.98 million, but figures released by the Census Bureau in December showed that the state has lost population three years in a rowFrom July 2016 to July 2017, the net decrease was about 1,300 peopleThere were about 6,500 more births than deaths in Mississippi during that year, but about 8,000 people moved to other placesWest Virginia and Illinois were the only states that have lost population for more consecutive years than Mississippi Graduates applaud during 2011 Spring Commencement exercises at the University of Southern Mississippi in HattiesburgState legislators are trying to make staying in state to work more attractive to college graduates Matt Bush Hattiesburg American / File lazyLoadingModule("inlinegallery-template-200820189", "inlinegallery-target-200820189", "gallery",500, undefined, undefined, undefined, "undefined", 200820189 , 1 ); Suggested for you lazyLoadingModule("zerg-template", "zerg-target", "zerg",500, undefined, undefined, undefined, "53343", undefined , undefined );   Comments   Needs to be visible to set the correct height of the comment componentI'm hiding it on document readyAppending it later did not work--> jQuery(document).ready(function () { mi.commentingFaceboook.init(); }); Videos SHARE COPY LINK More Videos Video Link 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An ‘outsider’ had things to say about the Mississippi flagThe South didn’t take it well. Smoke pot but want a job? Why using fake urine likely won’t help you pass a drug test Why a famous senator’s granddaughter abandoned the magnolia flag and made her own State Politics jQuery(document).ready(function () { UD.updateDate.getDiffDate("1518993964", "MMMM DD, YYYY hh:mm A", "America/Chicago", "en" , "-06:00"); }); Subscriptions Start a Subscription Customer Service eEdition Vacation Hold Pay Your Bill Rewards Special Sections Site Information About Us Contact Us Newsletters News in Education Archives Photo Store Social, Mobile & More Text News Alerts Mobile & Apps Facebook Twitter YouTube Google+ Instagram Advertising Start Advertising Place a Classified Place an Obituary Shopping Today's Circulars More

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