Mississippi may forgive state income tax for new doctors

April 4, 2012

If you're fresh out of residency, the Magnolia State wants you, and it is willing to waive its state income tax to get you there. Get the facts before you pack your bags.

If you’re a resident or new physician looking to establish your practice, Mississippi may forgive its income tax on your earnings, according to a bill in its General Assembly.

March 27, the Mississippi House of Representatives voted 120 to 1 in favor of a bill that forgives state income tax on new-doctor incomes of more than $100,000. The state has a 5% income tax rate, so a new physician with a $150,000 salary would save $7,500 a year if the bill passes.

New doctors must have obtained their licenses less than a year ago and must practice in a physician shortage area, according to the bill. The state income tax break would last for as long as 10 years if the physician practices and resides in the shortage area. Sixty-six of the state’s 82 counties are listed as primary medical care professional shortage areas, according to the Health Resources and Services Administration Web sites.

“[T]his legislation will not only allow doctors to serve the rural areas of our state while maintaining the necessary income to support their families but can also foster the development of jobs that support a physician’s practice,” said Gov. Phil Bryant, who promoted the bill in his annual state of the state speech and on his Web site.

Meanwhile in Connecticut a bill to help recruit new doctors to the state has been approved by a committee in the state’s general assembly. The bill proposes to designate up to 10 Connecticut communities as “targeted health areas” because of a medically underserved population or the presence of a chronic health condition, according to the Connecticut State Medical Society.

Physicians or physician practices in these designated communities would be eligible to receive state loans and grants to recruit doctors, purchase electronic health record systems, and make other capital improvements that help them expand access to medical care. The bill budgets $10 million over 5 years for the loans and grants.

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