Local leaders get lesson on improving the state

Published 12:00 am Thursday, December 11, 2008

NATCHEZ — Local leaders were given a lesson Wednesday on how to make Mississippi the best state it can be.

The Mississippi Economic Council made its 23rd stop out of 26 total on its Marathon Tour through the state.

MEC President Blake Wilson urged educational reform and taking time to improve school systems.

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He said improvements begin on the local level.

“You can’t solve this from the state level,” he said.

Wilson said it can be as easy as taking even the smallest interest in improving education in the area.

“That’s how we move this forward in Mississippi,” he said. “We have an obligation, a responsibility as business leaders to take this on.”

Another means by which the state can be pushed toward excellence is doing away with the current inventory tax, he said.

“The inventory tax is a critical problem,” Wilson said.

It can become a deterrent in bringing in industry and it is also antiquated, Wilson said.

“Only 11 states collect an inventory tax. It’s an old regressive tax,” he said.

But to do away with the tax would be detrimental to a city’s tax revenue and the only way to transition a city is to have supplemental revenue coming from the state, Wilson said.

Right now that is not an option with the shape the economy is currently in, he said.

“This is a priority when the economy improves,” Wilson said.