Governor Signs Bill to Create the Mississippi Works Fund
In a ceremony at the Mississippi State Capitol yesterday, March 21, Governor Phil Bryant signed Senate Bill 2808
(Fillingane-R, Sumrall) into law. This act, one of MMA's priorities for this session, provides meaningful tax relief for Mississippi employers and creates the Mississippi Works Fund for workforce training. MMA staff worked to help draft and pass this historic piece of legislation.
Currently, Mississippi employers pay unemployment insurance taxes on a portion of employee wages. Statutorily, the tax rate is between 0.2 percent to 5.4 percent depending on economic activity, such as layoffs or job growth. Under Senate Bill 2808, the minimum tax rate drops to 0.0 percent. The tax reduction resulting from this legislation will amount to over $16 per worker, or approximately $15 million in total, for 2016. The Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund is actuarially sound, which allows the employers' tax rate to be lowered.
The bill also creates a workforce training fund, the Mississippi Works Fund, which will provide approximately $10 million to be deposited into the fund in the first year, with about $5 million deposited into the fund in subsequent years. These dollars primarily will be used to meet the training needs of new jobs created in the state, as well as to help with job retention and increasing the capacity of Mississippi's labor force pool.
The MMA wishes to acknowledge and thank Governor Phil Bryant, Lieutenant Governor Tate Reeves, the members of the Mississippi Senate, Speaker Philip Gunn, and the members of the Mississippi House of Representatives for their support of this bill.