Mississippi may be thought of as conservative small-government state, but the state’s consumers pay higher taxes on their insurance products than in all but two other states.
Unfortunately, under a bill just signed by Gov. Phil Bryant, the Legislature will take fees currently charged to bolster the state’s Wind Pool and quietly shift them to the general fund.
Under SB 2467, which Bryant signed April 13, a 3 percent surcharge currently added to the cost of specialized “surplus lines” policies would be redirected from the Mississippi Windstorm Underwriting Association to the treasury, with special carve-outs for items like new fire trucks and the State Crime Lab. Those are perfectly reasonable projects, but there’s no reason that insurance consumers, specifically, should foot the bill alone.
The Wind Pool is smaller than it used to be and now has a healthy surplus. It probably no longer needs the extra revenue. But that’s why lawmakers should have just let the tax expire, as it was currently scheduled to do in July 2021.
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