Barbour, Tuck want mayors to examine numbers on tax bill

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - Any attempt to override Governor Haley Barbour's veto of a tax bill appears to be at least a few days away.

Lieutenant Governor Amy Tuck, who proposed the bill, wants to give city leaders a chance to study her calculations about how the bill could affect municipal budgets.

The bill would phase out Mississippi's seven percent grocery tax by 2014 and increase the cigarette tax this year and next. Barbour vetoed it last week.

Cities rely on sales taxes from groceries and other items to bolster their budgets. The vetoed bill includes provisions to give cities part of the money they would lose in grocery tax collections.

Barbour and Tuck have produced dueling sets of numbers to show the impact of the bill over the coming decade. Each side questions the figures the other side is using, including assumptions about the rate of economic growth.

The Mississippi Municipal League opposes the bill. It mailed Barbour's numbers to mayors last week. Senator Hob Bryan, who supports the bill, said today that, "the Municipal League is simply parroting the governor's figures, and they're wrong."

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