February 5, 2017 – Since we published this article on Thursday, Feb. 2 it has been reported to United Conservatives that Republican leadership in the MS House spent much of the weekend placing calls to those who originally supported the Internet Sales Tax applying pressure to make certain they remained firm in their support of the legislation.
Following a wave of conservative groups, advocates and Mississippi voters placing calls to legislators asking them to vote against the tax increase it was becoming increasing clear that House leadership may not have the votes to pass the tax increase on the second vote. With this being the case it is clear that some Republicans in the House are determined to make sure the tax increase passes.
Some legislators believe the vote could be back on the floor for a vote in the House when they reconvene on Monday afternoon.
Placing calls and emails to House members asking them to vote against HB480 should be made Monday before this vote takes place. House members may be reached by calling 601-359-3770 or by sending an email All members can be emailed at the following address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
*Original article as posted on February 2, 2017 – It has been a strange few days in your state Capitol. Yesterday, 42 Republicans in the Mississippi House joined hands with 37 Democrats to pass HB480, a measure to collect sales tax on Internet purchases made by Mississippians.
After passage, by a vote of 79 – 38, the legislation was held on a so-called motion to reconsider. The motion meant that the bill would still be available for reconsideration this morning, assuming the motion was not “tabled.”
Those who fought against the tax increase knew that House Republican leadership would move to “table the motion to reconsider” as soon as possible. If the motion were to pass, then the Internet Sales Tax legislation would clear the House and move to the Senate for consideration. If it failed, it would come back to the House for another vote.
Late yesterday, a coalition of House conservative Republicans and Democrats who both opposed the tax increase began working with several MS voter advocacy groups, including United Conservatives, to drive telephone calls to Representatives urging them not to support the tax increase.
The request of citizens to their legislators was simple: Vote against the move to “table the motion to reconsider” and allow the bill to come back up for a second vote.
This morning, a motion to table the “motion to reconsider” was made. The motion failed to pass by a vote 65 – 46, meaning that HB480 may now be subject to another vote. The only other option would be for House leadership to ignore the bill and allow it to “die on the calendar.”
For the “motion to table” to fail, several Republicans who had voted for the tax increase decided to change their votes. Their “flip-flop” was sufficient to defeat the motion to table, allowing the original bill to be possibly reconsidered in a second vote.
This loss of support for the tax increase has led to a busy day at the State Capitol.
House Republican leaders spent the day calling in House members who voted against the “motion to table” and pressured to them to support the tax increase.
At the time of this release, House leadership had still not presented the Internet tax increase for a second vote. We are hearing that leadership is continuing to “whip” the vote to see where they think the final vote tally will be.
A sad reality is apparent — the effort to force this tax increase onto the people of Mississippi was led by Republicans and supported by Democrats. And this is incontrovertible, even though it runs in direct opposition to the Republican Party’s Platform.