Archive for the ‘State’ Category
From the Mississippi Department of Transportation comes news that it’s won an award from the Keep America Beautiful organization: MDOT was one of five departments in the nation to receive the Keep America Beautiful Great American Cleanup Statewide Activation Award during KAB’s recent National Conference in Charlotte, N.C.
Keep America Beautiful’s annual National Conference brought together KAB affiliate leaders from across the country to share best practices and celebrate the successes of the past year. The KAB Great American Cleanup Activation Award is judged by KAB affiliate peers for program activities during the previous year. The award recognizes statewide affiliates that have innovative programs and partnerships that further their mission, while encouraging individuals to engage in activities that build and sustain vibrant communities.
“Keep America Beautiful’s Great American Cleanup Statewide Activation Award recognizes the outstanding success of MDOT for promoting its GAC program throughout Mississippi” said Jennifer Jehn, president and CEO of Keep America Beautiful. “It’s my privilege to honor MDOT and Executive Director Melinda McGrath for this important achievement.”
“We are very proud to be a part of the Great American Cleanup and be one of five states to win this award nationwide,” said MDOT Executive Director Melinda McGrath. “Mississippi is such a beautiful state and it is important for MDOT to be highly involved in keeping it that way.”
Senate Bill 2425 gives sports enthusiasts a sales tax break on firearms, ammunition, hunting supplies and fishing supplies purchased the first weekend of September. Louisiana has a similar holiday.
“This tax break is for Mississippians who enjoy outdoor sports and encourages more citizens to participate in outdoor shooting sports,” Reeves said. “I’m thankful for the support of the National Rifle Association on this bill and so many other strong Second Amendment protections we’ve passed this year.”
The Internal Revenue Service says about 500,000 Mississippians have filed their taxes so far. That compares to about 399,000 at this point last year.
That’s a pretty good clip, considering Jan. 31 was the day the IRS began accepting returns.
“As of Feb. 17, Mississippi taxpayers have filed nearly 500,000 electronic-filed returns,” said IRS spokesman Mark Green. “We expect 1.3 million tax returns to be filed in Mississippi, with about 1.1 million electronically.
Nationwide, as of Feb. 7, the IRS had received 27.3 million returns, up 2.5 percent compared to the same time last year. About 96 percent were filed electronically.
Refunds are cup for this year, with almost 19.5 million issued so far, an 18 percent increase from last year.
The average refund as of Feb. 7 is $3,317, up 4.6 percent. Also 87 percent of the refunds have been directly deposited.
So, if you haven’t filed – get with it.
From the Mississippi Department of Employment Security comes this news:
In recognition of Mississippi’s national leadership in helping people get jobs, the Mississippi Department of Employment Security has received the 2013 Full Employment Best Practices Award from the American Institute for Full Employment.
“This award is a clear sign of the state’s commitment to getting Mississippians back to work as soon as possible while they are receiving unemployment benefits,” MDES Executive Director Mark Henry said. “The goal is to help people move quickly from an unemployment check to a paycheck.”
MDES won the award because of its success in reemploying people who have filed for unemployment insurance. Read the rest of this entry »
Mississippi’s top two agricultural commodities – poultry and forestry – maintained their strength in 2013, but most agronomic crop values took a hit from significantly lower prices than those earned in 2012.
John Michael Riley, agricultural economist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said agronomic crop prices were a major drag in the state’s total agricultural commodity value despite good-to-great production levels.
“In 2012, when most of the nation’s farmland was experiencing a major drought, Mississippi farmers were able to produce very good yields,” he said. “While yields were down across the country, our growers were able to capitalize on the higher prices.”
For perspective, Riley has charted out estimated agricultural commodity values for 2013 compared to the previous year and the five-year average. The estimated $7.35 billion is 4 percent less than 2012’s total value, but 11 percent more than the five-year average.
“The total decline in value would have been greater if poultry and forestry had not showed as much improvement from one year to the next,” he said. “2012 was more of an anomaly with respect to crops.” Read the rest of this entry »
The “Year of the Creative Economy” will feature both ongoing events and new activities throughout the year and will highlight the state’s vast talent across the creative spectrum and the impact it has on the local economy.
“Our creative economy is one of the state’s true economic drivers. We are the birthplace of blues, rock ‘n’ roll and country music. But more than that, Mississippi’s creative economy is a job producer. In fact, job growth in Mississippi’s creative economy has outpaced national creative economy growth in recent years,” Gov. Bryant said. “This 12-month celebration, known as ‘Year of the Creative Economy: Mississippi Homecoming,’ provides an unmatched opportunity to showcase the people, communities and enterprises that are moving Mississippi’s economy forward.”
The celebration will also bring home many well-known artists, performers and others to join the festivities in their respective home communities and to showcase the talent and drive grown out of their Mississippi experience. Read the rest of this entry »
Speaking to more than 800 attendees at the Governor’s Energy Summit, Gov. Bryant announced the Fraser Institute has again ranked Mississippi among the world’s most attractive places for oil and gas investment. Mississippi ranks number two globally for energy policy and is first in its tier when energy policy is considered along with proven oil and gas reserves.
The Fraser Institute developed the rankings by surveying petroleum industry executives about barriers to investment in 157 oil- and gas-producing regions throughout the world. According to the report, barriers to investment can include high taxes, cost of regulatory compliance, uncertainty over environmental regulations and the interpretation and administration of regulations.