Mississippi has the Seventh Highest State and Local Tax Burden in the Nation for FY 2016

May 01, 2018

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In Fiscal Year (FY) 2016, Mississippi collected $10.8 billion in state and local taxes—or $3,623 for every man, woman, and child. While this is an impressive sum of money, it tells us little about whether or not the average Mississippi taxpayer can afford this level of taxation?


To better answer this question, this analysis will calculate Mississippi’s tax burden relative to the private sector. Ultimately, it is the private sector that creates new wealth and income. A high tax burden means a state is hobbling its private sector relative to other states and reducing their long-run economic growth potential.



Click here to view tax burden data by state, type of tax, and for years 1950 to 2016


Unfortunately for taxpayers, as shown in Chart 1, Mississippi’s state and local tax burden (tax collections divided by private sector personal income) was the seventh highest in the nation for FY 2016 at 17.4 percent—or 22 percent above the national average of 14.3 percent.


Chart 1 Mississippi State and Local Tax Burden FY 2016.jpg


#Mississippi state and local #taxburden in FY 2016 was the 7th highest in the nation at 17.4%— 22% above US average of 14.3% @keypolicydata #MSpolitics #MSleg #MSsen #MSgov #PolicyData (click to tweet)


As shown in Chart 2, Mississippi’s tax burden has increased over time by 66 percent to 17.4 percent in FY 2016 from 10.5 percent in FY 1950.


Chart 2 Mississippi State and Local Tax Burden by Type of Tax FY 1950 to 2016.JPG


#Mississippi state and local #taxburden has increased 66% between FY 1950 (10.5%) to 2016 (17.4%) @keypolicydata #MSpolitics #MSleg #MSsen #MSgov #PolicyData (click to tweet)


Click here to view tax burden data by state, type of tax, and for years 1950 to 2016



To put Mississippi’s tax burden into perspective, let’s compare it to size of major industries in the state (as a percent of private sector income). As shown in Chart 3, Mississippi’s 17.7 percent tax burden is greater than these combined industries: manufacturing (14.3 percent), utilities (1.4 percent), and educational services (1.1 percent).


Chart 3 Mississippi State and Local Tax Burden vs. Major Industry FY 2016.JPG


#Mississippi state and local #taxburden > combined industries: manufacturing, utilities, and educational services @keypolicydata #MSpolitics #MSleg #MSsen #MSgov #PolicyData (click to tweet)


Mississippi’s high tax burden by type is driven by a high corporate income tax burden (0.7 percent, 6th highest), a high sales tax burden (5.3 percent, 7th highest) and a high all other taxes burden (2.9 percent, 12th highest).


Of course, the tax burdens for local government can vary just as much as they do among the 50 states. As such, we have also calculated the local government tax burden for every county in Mississippi—this includes every taxing jurisdiction within the geographic county borders whether it is a city, a special district, or county government itself.


The 20 Mississippi counties with the highest local government tax burden include:


  • Tunica County, MS (13.4 percent)
  • Issaquena County, MS (13.1 percent)
  • Sharkey County, MS (10.6 percent)
  • Claiborne County, MS (10.0 percent)
  • Quitman County, MS (9.0 percent)
  • Warren County, MS (8.5 percent)
  • Forrest County, MS (8.4 percent)
  • Leflore County, MS (8.3 percent)
  • Harrison County, MS (8.1 percent)
  • Sunflower County, MS (8.0 percent)
  • Humphreys County, MS (7.7 percent)
  • Hancock County, MS (7.6 percent)
  • Washington County, MS (7.4 percent)
  • Holmes County, MS (7.1 percent)
  • Coahoma County, MS (7.1 percent)
  • Yazoo County, MS (6.9 percent)
  • Hinds County, MS (6.9 percent)
  • Jefferson County, MS (6.6 percent)
  • Greene County, MS (6.5 percent)
  • Oktibbeha County, MS (6.5 percent)


The 20 Mississippi counties with the lowest local government tax burden include:


  • Marshall County, MS (3.9 percent)
  • Pearl River County, MS (3.9 percent)
  • Smith County, MS (3.8 percent)
  • Simpson County, MS (3.8 percent)
  • Copiah County, MS (3.8 percent)
  • Lincoln County, MS (3.7 percent)
  • Lamar County, MS (3.6 percent)
  • Tishomingo County, MS (3.6 percent)
  • Leake County, MS (3.5 percent)
  • Carroll County, MS (3.5 percent)
  • Itawamba County, MS (3.4 percent)
  • Amite County, MS (3.3 percent)
  • Tippah County, MS (3.3 percent)
  • Benton County, MS (3.3 percent)
  • Pontotoc County, MS (3.3 percent)
  • Union County, MS (3.2 percent)
  • Rankin County, MS (3.2 percent)
  • George County, MS (3.1 percent)
  • Wayne County, MS (3.1 percent)
  • Madison County, MS (3.0 percent)


Chart 4 Mississippi Local Tax Burden by County FY 2016.JPG


Click here to view tax burden data by state, type of tax, and for years 1950 to 2016


Finally, don’t forget to watch our exclusive time-lapse video of state and local tax burdens over the last 66 years! See if your state has been above or below the national average?





Category: Tax Burdens

J. Scott Moody

Scott has nearly 20 years of experience as a public policy economist. He is the author, co-author and editor of over 180 studies and books. His professional experience also includes positions at the American Conservative Union Foundation, Granite Institute, Federalism In Action, Maine Heritage Policy Center, Tax Foundation, and Heritage Foundation.

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