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Democratic Attorney General Jim Hood (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

Dem governor candidate Hood: Cut Mississippi grocery tax

The Democratic nominee for Mississippi governor said Wednesday that he wants to reduce the state’s 7% grocery sales tax to give working people a break.

Attorney General Jim Hood told The Associated Press that he wants to at least cut it in half and possibly eliminate it altogether.

Appearing at a locally owned grocery store in the Delta town of Indianola, Hood said the Republican-led Legislature has given millions in corporate tax breaks.

“We need to make sure that we cut the grocery tax so working people are able put food on the table,” Hood said. “What’s happened, since 2012, we have given away so much of the state’s money. That’s why we don’t have money for roads and bridges, is all these tax giveaways, many of them to out-of-state corporations.”

Hood said to keep cities from losing money with a grocery tax reduction, he wants to send revenue from an online sales tax to cities and counties. That is about $134 million a year, which Hood told AP was “money that fell from the sky” when he and other attorneys general won a taxation case at the U.S. Supreme Court.

Hood spoke hours before a debate between two Republican gubernatorial candidates. Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves and retired Mississippi Supreme Court Chief Justice Bill Waller Jr. compete in a runoff Tuesday for the party nomination.

Republican Gov. Phil Bryant is limited to two terms and couldn’t run again. Mississippi, Louisiana and Kentucky are the only states electing a governor this year. Hood is trying to become Mississippi’s first Democratic governor since Ronnie Musgrove was unseated in the 2003 election.

Hood and the Republican nominee will face Constitution Party candidate Bob Hickingbottom and independent candidate David Singletary in the Nov. 5 general election.

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Follow Emily Wagster Pettus: http://twitter.com/EWagsterPettus .

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