Stress importance of National Career Readiness Certification for High School Students:
Assessing the emerging workforce is vital to helping Mississippians develop the skills necessary for future jobs. A significant step in doing this would be to provide funding for all Mississippi high school students to take both the ACT® college readiness exam and the ACT® WorkKeys® job skills assessment. Results will provide students information to understand all options available for post-secondary education in order to chart a path forward, leading to a successful and rewarding career. It would also boost Mississippi's economic growth by displaying the skillsets of the emerging workforce to prospective employers. In addition, the WorkKeys® assessment provides students with a National Career Readiness Certification.
Eliminate the Accelerated June Sales Tax:
Current law requires a business that has an average monthly sales tax liability of at least fifty thousand dollars ($50,000.00) to pay on or before the twenty-fifth day of June an amount of seventy-five percent (75%) of such taxpayer's estimated sales tax liability for the month of June of the current calendar year, or an amount equal to at least seventy-five percent (75%) of the taxpayer's sales tax liability for the month of June of the preceding calendar year. Removal of Section 2 of code section 26-65-33 would address this issue while creating continuity for businesses.
Continue to Find New Resources for Funding:
We must continue to look for additional ways to fund transportation needs in Mississippi. Key legislation passed in a special session of 2018 is expected to provide more than $200 million annually, with approximately $100 million going to cities and counties and other $100 million to the state department of transportation. This legislation is critical as we begin to address transportation needs. An additional $200 million annually is needed to meet all the requirements outlined in MEC's 2015 Blueprint Mississippi transportation study. These funds should be from a long-term, sustainable source.
Incentive Program to Retrain and Attract Talent:
Focusing on talent retention and attraction is vital for growing Mississippi's economy. MEC has explored a variety of factors that are impacting this issue. MEC is looking forward to working with Speaker Philip Gunn and the Speaker's Commission on Public Policy to look for ways to address this issue.
Create a Marquee Economic Development Incentive Program:
Streamlining the State’s incentive portfolio and eliminating smaller, redundant, and rarely used incentives would create a simplified application process for business and industry. The proposed MFLEX initiative creates the ability to use customizable tax credits with a single application.