Today the Mississippi House overwhelmingly passed House Bill 1439, a bill that would gradually phase out the state income tax. The 308 page bill also increases state sales tax by an additional 2.5 percent on essentially all retail purchases in Mississippi, making the default sales tax rate 9.5 percent and increasing sales tax rates on farm equipment and logging equipment, as well as vehicles and electric, water and gas utilities. The bill would gradually reduce sales tax on groceries. You can read the general effects of the bill in the first three pages, in the short title, attached. My office is currently reviewing this legislation specifically for its potential effects on Mississippi farmers and loggers, and rural Mississippians in general. I will keep you updated on this as it moves through the legislative process.