The Nuts and Bolts of the Mississippi Budget: Chapter 5: Getting the Gears Moving— How Mississippians Can Get Involved
November 8th, 2012
Our Legislature and Governor make and approve spending decisions, but all state residents can take part in the processes of developing the budget and informing Mississippi’s set of taxes.
Chapter 5 outlines three key ways that you can become an active part of the budget-making process:
Step # 1—Keep Current
A good first step is to read the newspaper and watch the daily news with an eye toward editorials and stories that discuss state spending and taxes.
Step # 2—Enhance Your Knowledge
If a news story catches your interest, there are several places to gather additional information on budget and tax topics. There are several good sources for additional information including:
- The Center for Policy Research and Planning at the Institutions for Higher Learning:
The Center publishes the Annual Tax Expenditure Report which provides an account of the amount the state spends on corporate tax credits each year;
- The Legislative Budget Office (LBO):
LBO publishes several documents on their website including the Joint Legislative Budget Recommendation, the Legislative Appropriations Bulletin, and Monthly State General Revenue Reports; and
- The Mississippi Economic Policy Center (MEPC):
MEPC conducts budget and tax analysis and shares them on our website. Readers can also sign up for e-mail updates by following this link.
Step # 3—Engage Others
The easiest way to get involved in the process is to connect with other people and organizations that are already engaged in budget and tax work.
There are a number of nonprofit organizations in Jackson and around the state that can provide updates on key people, events and votes. These nonprofits can also provide avenues to participate in the process—from writing a letter to a legislator to having a face-to-face meeting with a government official.
We hope that the Mississippi budget and tax system has become a little less overwhelming after reading this blog series. Given the importance of strong fiscal systems and the funding of vital state services, it is important to understand how our state’s budget and tax system functions to ensure that it is efficient and effective.
Our final post will lift up the key recommendations from the report.Author: Francinia D. McKeithan, Policy Analyst/ SFAI Policy Fellow