Lawmakers examine dueling numbers about tax bill - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Mississippi

Lawmakers examine dueling numbers about tax bill

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - It will be next week, at the earliest, before the Mississippi Senate considers whether to override Governor Haley Barbour's veto of a tax bill.

The Senate Finance Committee voted 14-to-10 Friday to recommend an override -- a move that puts the matter on the Senate calendar.

Lieutenant Governor Amy Tuck proposed the bill that would increase cigarette taxes and phase out grocery taxes. She wants the veto overridden and can call up the matter for a vote of the full Senate anytime she wants. But she's guaranteed not to do it until she knows she has at least a two-thirds majority to prevail.

Senate rules allow the veto recommendation to stay on the calender, untouched, until the end of the session. Lawmakers, meanwhile, are being inundated with competing numbers about how the bill would impact city budgets.

Governor Haley Barbour calls the bill an "irresponsible" and "poorly researched" proposal that would hurt city and state budgets.

Tuck says the governor is using "fictitious" and "distorted" numbers to bolster his case. She said her staff has compiled its own set of numbers to counter Barbour's.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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