Steve Rogers

About Steve Rogers

Assistant News Director/Assignment Editor; degree in finance and administration from Yale University; 35 years experience in journalism.

State’s Economy Shows More Signs of Improving

JACKSON—Numbers released show Mississippi’s fiscal year 2013 revenue collections exceeded the Sine Die estimate by more than $295 million—strong evidence that the state’s economy continues to improve. The Sine Die estimate is the final revenue figure agreed upon by the Legislature each year as they wrap up the state’s budgeting process. Mississippi’s revenue growth comes on the heels of several national accolades naming the state among the top for job creation, entrepreneurship and economic development.

“I am very pleased to see Mississippi’s economy showing such strong evidence of improvement. We are working hard to build a business-friendly climate that attracts new jobs and new business investment, and we are seeing the results,” Gov. Phil Bryant said.

“Since I’ve taken office, we’ve announced the creation of more than 6,300 new jobs and more than $1 billion in private sector investment. Companies like Yokohoma, GE and Roxul can choose where to do business, and they are choosing Mississippi because Mississippi Works.”

The state collected more than $5 billion in revenue during fiscal year 2013, which ended on June 30. Budget experts had projected Mississippi would collect about $4.8 billion in revenue. Collections were higher than anticipated in many categories, including:

· Corporate income tax: $61 million above projections.

· Sales tax: $24 million above projections.

· Individual income tax: $170 million above projections.

A portion of the revenue increase should be available as a cushion to help the governor and lawmakers address spending priorities in fiscal year 2015. The governor will issue his priorities this November, and lawmakers will set the budget for FY15 when they reconvene in January for the 2014 regular legislative session.

“Our state’s strong performance is result of not only new jobs and economic activity but also fiscal prudence,” Gov. Bryant said. “In each of my Executive Budget Recommendations, I have urged the Legislature to save a portion of revenues instead of spending everything we take in. Lawmakers have heeded my calls, and Mississippi is now on more stable financial footing as a result. They should certainly continue this practice.”

Preliminary figures recently released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis show Mississippi’s economy grew 2.4 percent in 2012, outperforming the Southeast’s 2.1 percent growth average. Along with the state’s revenue increase, the data prove that Mississippi is showing strong signs of recovery following the national recession.

“Mississippi continues to strengthen its economic competitiveness,” said Blake Wilson, President and CEO of the Mississippi Economic Council. “Recent milestones are perfect examples of what can be accomplished with a strong business climate and intense focus on workforce development. This is another step in ensuring that Mississippi is in the position of greatest opportunity.”

National organizations continue to rank Mississippi favorably. The American Legislative Exchange Council placed Mississippi among the top ten states for overall economic outlook for 2013, and the Kauffman Index of Entrepreneurial Activity named Mississippi fifth in the nation for business startup activity in 2012. American City Business Journals also recently named Gov. Bryant fourteenth among U.S. governors for job creation in its On Numbers rankings.

Area Development Magazine, an economic development publication, awarded Mississippi a second consecutive Silver Shovel Award for strong economic development performance, and Bankrate.com named Mississippi the number five state for retirement, citing the state’s low taxes and lower-than-average cost of living.

“Mississippi is working,” Gov. Bryant said of the state’s success. “We don’t intend to stop.”