The Mississippi Economic Policy Center has a two page PDF up that's rather disturbing. In it, they reveal how the top 20% of Mississippi earners pay the lowest share of taxes.
So how did we get here? Well, for starters, we haven't updated the Mississippi tax code in 25 years. That means that a family of four that pulls in more than $29,600 is in the highest tax bracket. Yes, you read that correctly. Then there's been skyrocketing income growth among the top 20% of income earners as opposed to everyone else. To the point, there has been a 49.4% increase in annual income for the top 20% of earners over the last 20 years, while the bottom 20% has seen their income rise only 23.1%. Factor in that the 49.4% increase for the wealthy is exponentially greater than the 23.1% increase for the poor, and the gap keeps expanding. For example, 49.4% income growth for someone making $100,000 means a new income of $149,400, while a 23.1% income growth for someone making $30,000 is a new salary of $36,930. What was once a $70,000 income gap is now a gap of $112,000. And the kicker? They're both in the same tax bracket.
It is past time for us to examine our tax code and make it current. Doing so would allow us to better fund our state budget and ease the burden on Mississippi's working and middle class. And that would make Mississippi a more attractive place to live, work, and play.