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No new tax pledge

By Staff
April 28, 2004
Gov. Haley Barbour says he doubts legislators will pass a proposed cigarette tax increase but if they do, he will veto it. Good for him. At least someone at the leadership level of state government is sticking to his pre-election pledges.
At a lunch earlier this week hosted by the Capitol Press Corps and Mississippi State University's Stennis Institute of Government, Barbour repeated his mantra: "Raising taxes is the enemy of controlling spending." We'd like to see proponents of any new tax also repeat those words every morning when they look into the mirror.
House Speaker Billy McCoy, D-Rienzi, had suggested increasing the cigarette tax to support mental health centers. Sadly and this as strong a comment on the Mississippi Legislature as anything mental health crisis centers have been built but there is no money to operate them. A plan would have been nice.
Barbour is right that our lawmakers need to focus more on controlling spending, not dip into every trust fund or rush to raise taxes when the going gets tough. It's difficult to work within the available revenue but we support the governor in his efforts to convince legislators to do so.