Mississippi committee recommends override of second tax veto

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - Mississippi senators are moving toward another battle over one of the biggest issues this session -- the attempt to make groceries taxes cheaper and cigarettes more expensive.

The Finance Committee voted 11-to-9 Thursday to recommend overriding a veto that Governor Haley Barbour handed down last week.

The bill would cut the grocery sales tax from 7 cents to 3-and-a-half cents on the dollar and increase the cigarette excise tax from the current 18 cents a pack to 80 cents a pack this July 1 and 1 dollar a year later.

Finance Chairman Tommy Robertson says the full Senate could consider the override in the next few days.

The committee action comes a day after the full Senate fell six votes short of overriding Barbour's veto of a separate bill that would've phased out the grocery tax and raised the cigarette excise tax to 75 cents a pack this July 1 and 1 dollar a year later.

Mississippi has the highest state grocery tax in the nation, and one of the lowest cigarette taxes.

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