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Wednesday, January 4, 2023

MMA Release 2023 Legislative Agenda

The 2023 Legislative Session began Tuesday, January 4. We look forward to working with legislators over the next three months to strengthen industry in Mississippi.

Here is our Legislative Agenda for the 2023 Session:

1. Software Sales Tax: During the 2022 legislative session, the legislature created a study committee to look at the policy of taxation of remote and internet-based computer software products and services. The committee found that this particular tax issue is extraordinarily complex and there is no consensus across states. Additionally, the impacts of an incorrect implementation of such a tax could be devasting for the business community with the greatest burden falling on small to mid-size businesses that rely so heavily on software products and services to survive. Further complicating the issue, the MS Department of Revenue has begun instructing vendors to collect a tax on software housed out of state, creating a new tax. With many companies now remitting the sales tax on cloud-based software (whether housed in or out of MS), the two have become inextricably linked. Therefore, it is the recommendation of the study committee to exempt businesses from sales tax on software.

2. Workforce Development: Developing and recruiting more workforce talent remains MMA’s top policy priority. With Accelerate MS now staffed and ready to move to the next phase, the legislature must ensure that they have the resources to successfully implement new workforce initiatives and build the network of partnerships that will help achieve their goals. Setting up a regular appropriation to additionally fund this office will create the consistency and reliability necessary for the staff to focus on what they have been charged to do.

3. Transportation & Infrastructure: The Emergency Road and Bridge Repair Fund (ERBRF) has already begun to finance road and bridge projects from its third round of funding. With over 150 projects fully completed and so many more underway, the ERBRF has proven to be an extremely efficient way to repair portions of our state’s infrastructure. The MMA would like to see another round of funding for the ERBRF, to continue the great collaboration between MDOT and the business community through the advisory committee process.

4. Healthcare Costs: A recent survey of MMA members found that the cost of providing health coverage to employees was the second most concerning issue impacting their operation, behind only finding qualified workers as the top issue. Legislators should proceed with extreme caution with any legislation that could potentially increase costs on employers and employees. Some examples include insurance mandates for specific illnesses/procedures, dictating contracts between insurance companies/PBMs and providers, and “Gold Card” programs for physicians, just to name a few.