MISSISSIPPI LEGISLATURE
2015 Regular Session
To:
By:
Bill #
AN ACT TO PROVIDE AN INCOME OR PREMIUM TAX CREDIT TO
EMPLOYERS WHO PAY COSTS IN CONNECTION WITH A QUALIFIED
WELLNESS PROGRAM IN THE AMOUNT OF 50% OF THE COSTS PAID
IN CONNECTION WITH THE QUALIFIED WELLNESS PROGRAM; TO
PROVIDE THE COMPONENTS THAT A WELLNESS PROGRAM MUST HAVE
TO QUALIFY FOR THE CREDIT; TO PROVIDE THAT IF THE AMOUNT
OF THE ALLOWABLE CREDIT EXCEEDS THE INCOME OR PREMIUM TAX
LIABILITY OF THE EMPLOYER, THE AMOUNT OF THE EXCESS SHALL
NOT BE REFUNDABLE OR CARRIED FORWARD TO ANY OTHER TAXABLE
YEAR; TO LIMIT THE AMOUNT OF THE CREDIT; AND FOR RELATED
PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF
MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1.
(1)
A credit is allowed against the
income and premium taxes imposed by this chapter to an
employer who pays costs in connection with a qualified
wellness program.
The amount of the credit, subject to
the limitations set forth under subsection (2) of this
section, is an amount equal to fifty percent (50%) of the
costs paid in connection with the qualified wellness
program.
(2)
The amount of credit allowed under this section
for any taxable year may not exceed the sum of:
(a)
The product of Two Hundred Dollars
($200.00) and the number of eligible employees of the
employer not in excess of one hundred (100) eligible
employees;
(b)
An annual cap of $20,000 per employer;
(c)
This credit shall be allowed to employers
each year on a “first-come, first-serve” basis, and shall
be available only up to a cumulative cap of $1,000,000
per year.
(3)
"Qualified wellness program" means a program
that consists of at least three (3) of the following
components:
(a)
A health awareness component, which
provides for the dissemination of health information and
resources that address the specific needs and health
risks of employees;
(b)
An employee engagement component, which
provides for:
(i)
The establishment of leadership to
actively engage employees in workplace wellness programs
through program planning, delivery, evaluation and
improvement efforts; and
(ii)
The tracking of employee
participation;
(c)
A behavioral change component, which
encourages healthy employee lifestyles and medical
condition prevention and management through coaching,
seminars, online programs, or self-help materials that
provide technical assistance and problem-solving
skills.
This component may include programs relating to
management of lifestyle issues such as tobacco use,
physical fitness, nutrition, and substance abuse, as well
as prevention and management of conditions such as
obesity, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, pre-term
delivery, mental health, and other chronic conditions;
(d)
A supportive environment component, which
includes access to healthy options at the workplace as
well as policies and services that promote healthy
lifestyle behaviors, including policies relating to:
(i)
(ii)
Tobacco use at the workplace;
The nutrition of food available at
the workplace through cafeterias and vending options;
(iii)
Minimizing stress and promoting
positive mental health in the workplace;
(iv)
Access to on-site care and/or
telehealth services;
(v)
Where applicable, accessible and
attractive stairs and walking routes;
(vi)
The encouragement of physical
activity before, during, and after work hours; and
(vii) Lactation supportive resources for
nursing mothers;
(4)
"Eligible employee" means an employee who works
an average of not less than twenty-four (24) hours per
week during the taxable year.
(5)
If the taxpayer is a partnership or Subchapter
S corporation, the credit is allowed to the partners or
shareholders in accordance with the determination of
income and distributive share of income under Sections
702 and 704 and Subchapter S of the Internal Revenue
Code.
(6)
If the amount of the allowable credit exceeds
the tax imposed by this chapter, the amount of the excess
shall not be refundable or carried forward to any other
taxable year.
(7)
The Department of Revenue, in cooperation with
the Department of Health and the Mississippi Development
Authority, shall adopt any rules necessary for the
administration of this section. In addition, the
Mississippi Department of Health/Office of Preventive
Health, shall be charged with the duty of certifying
employers as qualified, and shall re-certify employers on
an annual basis upon satisfactory evidence that the
employer’s qualified wellness program is succeeding in
measurable compliance to at least three (3) of the
foregoing components. An annual appropriation of $30,000
from state funds shall be made to the Mississippi
Department of Health/Office of Preventive Health to
assist with the discharging of these duties. In said
certification process, special consideration shall be
given to programs that target the following areas, where
intervention is shown to prevent or reduce illness or
death: Congestive Heart Failure, Cancer, Hypertension,
Types I and II Diabetes, Pre-Natal Care/Pre-Mature Birth
Prevention, Asthma, and Addictions.
SECTION 2.
Section 1 of this act shall be codified
in Chapter 7, Title 27, Mississippi Code of 1972.
SECTION 3.
This act shall take effect and be in
force from and after January 1, 2016, and shall be
repealed from and after January 1, 2019.