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Introducing: The Nuts and Bolts of The Mississippi Budget: A Taxpayer’s Guide to the Mississippi Budget

September 17th, 2012

What comes to mind when you think of the Mississippi budget? Do you think of your tax dollars, our local schools and colleges, our parks, our public safety workers and our roads? Or do you have more questions than answers that come to mind?

For the last year, MEPC has worked diligently to provide an updated guide to our state’s budget and tax system.

Divided into five chapters, the guide provides information on:

In providing a simple overview, the goal of the report is to raise understanding of the state budget process. Our hope is that this guide will clear up some of those lingering questions you may have while also challenging you to think more critically about the importance of our state budget.

•  The budget process;
•  State spending decisions made during the 2012 Legislative Session;
•  How the state generates revenue through taxes, fees and the federal government;
•  How to evaluate Mississippi’s tax system; and
•  How Mississippians can get involved in the budget process.

 

Budget-Book-Cover

Download Report PDF

Why Is Our State Budget Important?

The Mississippi budget provides a blueprint for how our state government funds services for millions of residents. There are many  stages in the state budgeting process, many players affect the outcome of budget debated and many sources of revenue-to name just a few complexities.

Budget decisions directly influence the quality of education that our children receive, the condition of the roads that we travel, the safety of our communities and the level of trust we can place in professional such as doctors, dentists, pharmacists and nurses.

Each of these services-education, road maintenance, and public health and safety – comes at a price and must be paid for through taxes, fees or borrowed funds. Our state needs strong fiscal systems to ensure that the necessary funds are available to cover the costs of the service that all Mississippi residents depend on every day.

 

More Information is On the Way:
Now that you’ve been introduced to the Nuts and Bolts of the budget, the rest of this series will be devoted to unpacking the toolbox.

Here are some of the highlights:

Chapter 1 provides an overview of the budget appropriation process;

Chapter 2 focuses on how our state spends (or appropriates) funds;

Chapter 3 provides an overview of how our state raises revenue to pay for state services funded by appropriations;

Chapter 4 introduces some key concepts to be used when evaluating a state tax system and examines the key characteristics of Mississippi’s set of taxes; and

Chapter 5 includes suggestions for how Mississippians can get involved in the
budget-making process.

As the budget-making process begins this week, be sure to check the Policy Matters blog for updates on the hearings.

 

More Valuable Resources:

Author: Francinia D. McKeithan, Policy Analyst/ SFAI Policy Fellow

 

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