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Income tax cut, teacher pay raise highlight new laws that went into effect Friday

Highlighted by the largest tax cut in state history, a number of bills that were adopted earlier this year became law on Friday.

House Bill 531, the Mississippi Tax Freedom Act of 2022, phases in the more than $500 million tax cut over the next four years. In the first year, it would eliminate Mississippi’s current 4 percent bracket that currently applies to the first $5,000 in taxed income. In years two through four, it would reduce the rate that applies to all income over $10,000 from 5 percent down to 4 percent.

The change in tax code will begin impacting Mississippians in January.

Under the change, individuals will not pay income taxes on their first $18,300 of taxable income and families will not pay taxes on their first $36,600 of income. A worker who makes $40,000 per year will see their taxes reduced by $417 a year, while a married couple making $80,000 would save $834 a year.

Other new laws:

– One of the goals of the session for virtually everyone in Jackson, teacher pay raises, was also adopted this year. With this, teachers will see an average raise of over $5,000, while teacher assistants will receive a raise of about $2,000. The starting salary for a teacher with a Bachelor’s Degree will be over $41,000.

House Bill 1416 will ensure that public school students can engage in political activities or discussions.

Senate Bill 2422 will ensure teachers receive their supply cards before school begins.

House Bill 1509, which will prohibit any government entity in Mississippi from mandating COVID-19 vaccines, is headed to the governor. The language also prohibits any public or private school from requiring the vaccine and allows any public or private employee to claim a religious exemption to the vaccine.

Senate Bill 2273 will allow employers to submit proof of employment as a substitute for regular meetings with their parole or probation officer, which can often be a hindrance to steady employment.

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