Barbour names members of commission to study state tax structure

Published 6:23 pm Thursday, January 24, 2008

A former state senator who helped block a bill that would have raised cigarette taxes and cut the nation’s highest grocery tax is among those Gov. Haley Barbour has named to a group that will study the state’s tax structure.

Moss Point’s Tommy Robertson was ousted in November’s election after he blocked the so-called “tax swap” bill from consideration during last year’s legislative session.

Robertson had supported the swap in 2006, but switched his position after Barbour requested that he hold the bill in his role as Senate Finance Committee chairman.

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Barbour said during Monday’s State of the State address that he would like to complete a tax overhaul by the end of his second term in office.

Leland Speed will be chairman of the commission, whose 38 members also include state treasurer Tate Reeves, Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann and Gray Swoope, head of the Mississippi Development Authority.

The commission will report its findings to Barbour and the Legislature by Aug. 31.