2020 Regular Session
To: Finance; Accountability, Efficiency, Transparency
By: Senator(s) Fillingane
AN ACT TO PROVIDE AN INCOME 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 LIMIT THE AMOUNT OF THE CREDIT THAT AN EMPLOYER MAY CLAIM IN ANY ONE TAXABLE YEAR; TO PROVIDE THAT THE AGGREGATE AMOUNT OF TAX CREDITS THAT MAY BE AWARDED UNDER THIS ACT IN ANY ONE CALENDAR YEAR SHALL NOT EXCEED $1,000,000.00; 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 TAX LIABILITY OF THE EMPLOYER IN A TAXABLE YEAR, THE AMOUNT OF THE EXCESS SHALL NOT BE REFUNDABLE OR CARRIED FORWARD TO ANY OTHER TAXABLE YEAR; TO REQUIRE THE STATE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH, OFFICE OF PREVENTIVE HEALTH, TO CERTIFY EMPLOYERS' ELIGIBILITY FOR THE CREDIT; TO PROVIDE THAT $30,000.00 SHALL BE APPROPRIATED ANNUALLY TO THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH, OFFICE OF PREVENTIVE HEALTH, TO ASSIST IN THE DISCHARGE OF THE OFFICE'S DUTIES UNDER THIS ACT; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. (1) A credit is allowed against the 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) (a) The amount of credit claimed by an employer under this section for any taxable year may not exceed the sum of (i) 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, plus the product of One Hundred Dollars ($100.00) and the number of eligible employees of the employer in excess of one hundred (100) eligible employees, or (ii) Twenty Thousand Dollars ($20,000.00), whichever is the lesser amount.
(b) The aggregate amount of tax credits that may be awarded under this section in any calendar year shall not exceed One Million Dollars ($1,000,000.00).
(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 worksite 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:
(i) Management of lifestyle issues such as tobacco use, physical fitness, nutrition and substance abuse; and
(ii) Prevention and management of conditions such as obesity, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, preterm delivery, mental health and other chronic conditions.
(d) A supportive environment component, which includes access to healthy options at the workplace and policies and services that promote healthy lifestyle behaviors, including policies relating to:
(i) Tobacco use at the workplace;
(ii) 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 State Department of Health, Office of Preventative Health, shall certify employers as qualified for the credit, and shall recertify 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 components listed in subsection (3) of this section. In the certification process, special consideration shall be given to programs in the following areas in which intervention is shown to prevent illness or death:
(a) Congestive heart failure;
(d) Type I and II diabetes;
(e) Prenatal care and premature birth prevention;
(f) Asthma; and
(8) The Department of Revenue, in cooperation with the State Department of Health and the Mississippi Development Authority, shall adopt any rules necessary for the administration of this section.
(9) Thirty Thousand Dollars ($30,000.00) shall be appropriated annually to the State Department of Health, Office of Preventive Health, to assist in the discharge of the office's duties under this section.
(10) This section shall be repealed from and after January 1, 2024.
SECTION 2. Section 1 of this act shall be codified in Title 27, Chapter 7, Mississippi Code of 1972.
SECTION 3. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after January 1, 2020.