Republicans in the MS House Approve Internet Sales Tax Bill, Pass to the Senate

February 7, 2017 – Yesterday afternoon, by a vote of 69 to 46 the MS House passed HB480 by “tabling” a pending Motion to Reconsider. The bill to increase taxes now goes to the Senate for consideration.

The bill authored by Rep. Trey Lamar (R – Oxford) has stirred a controversy in the state this past week, which was evident by the number of Republicans and Democrats divided on each side of the bill.

Republicans who supported the bill joined forces with many in the big business community, like the Mississippi Economic Council and Mississippi Chamber of Commerce, who sold the bill as a purported means to fund our critical infrastructure needs. They also sold the bill as being a way to drive “fairness” between locally owned businesses and online businesses, which is an argument that has been thoroughly debunked by numerous studies.

What they didn’t tell Mississippians is that we don’t have to raise taxes to fund these critical needs. A better way to manage state affairs would be to cut the wasteful spending. The best way to grow our struggling economy is to allow working Mississippians to keep more of their hard-earned money, making it available to be spent in local communities.

The legislation has illustrated the division between the Republican Party. A philosophical split that falls along the lines of those who remain dedicated to conservative policies and those who choose to compromise our Republican platform.

Following the 2016 Presidential election, it became evident that voters in America are fed up with politicians telling them one thing and doing another. Americans are tired of politicians who hide behind backroom deals and procedural motions. They are sick of hearing speeches proclaiming the virtues of conservatism, only then to witness those same politicians sacrifice the conservative viewpoint for personal gain.

HB 480 was a perfect example such shenanigans taking place right here in our State Capitol. Establishment Republican leadership strongly supported passing this tax increase, and they bullied members of the chamber get their way.

The House held three different votes on the bill, with each vote clearly exhibiting those who support a tax increase and bigger government. These three votes squarely placed Republicans in three different categories.

• Those voting for the limited government and low taxes by voting AGAINST the tax on all three votes.

• Those voting for big government and increased taxes by voting FOR the tax on all three votes.

• Those who allowed themselves to be openly manipulated by the House leadership into FLIP-FLOPPING their votes.

Now the fate of this tax increase lies in the hands of the Senate.

As we await the Senate’s debate and ultimate decision, things have become abundantly clear: There are a few House members who are voting for the people, but most are voting for the interests of big business and increased government spending.

Here is a breakdown of how House Republicans that voted:

Those voting AGAINST the tax increase on each vote –

Bomgar
Boyd
Brown
Chism
Criswell
Currie
Eubanks
Formby
Foster
Henley
Hood
Hopkins
Johnson
Ladner
Moore
Rushing
Shirley
Tullos

Those voting FOR the tax increase on each vote –

Aguirre
Baker
Barker
Barton
Beckett
D. Bell
Bennett
Bounds
Carpenter
Crawford
DeLano
Eure
Guice
Gunn
Haney
M. Huddleston
Read
Lamar
Mangold
Massengill
McLeod
McNeal
Monsour
Morgan
Oliver
Patterson
Pigott
Powell
Roberson
M. Rogers
R. Rogers
Smith
Snowden
Staples
Weathersby
White
Wilson

Those FLIP-FLOPPING voting both for and against the tax increase –

Arnold
Barnett
Busby
Byrd
Corley
Denny
Gipson
Hale
Horne
Kinkade
Mettetal
Mims
Sanford
Scoggin
Steverson
Touchstone
Turner
Willis
Zuber