The high cost of living in Vicksburg and Warren County

Our city has made great improvements in its infrastructure in the past several years, advances that have sparked a renaissance of sorts throughout the county, but especially downtown. The transformation has come at a high cost to city and county residents, however. Utility bills – natural gas, water, sewer, and garbage collection – have doubled and tripled. Though city and county leaders claim that they haven’t raised property taxes, property tax bills have soared due to revaluations performed by the county tax assessor’s office; even so, our mayor has suggested that taxes be raised even further. The promise of tax reductions permitted by the revenues produced by the gaming boats has long since been abrogated by our leaders; instead, this money is spent as soon as it arrives. Regulation after regulation, with greatly increased “fees” attached, have caused the costs of construction of and repairs to homes and businesses to soar. And despite the huge increase in its income, the city has sold bonds (and is considering more) to help pay for even more grandiose designs (Oak Street Corridor, Sports Complex), thereby indebting the citizenry to an even greater degree.

The cost of “progress” is high, especially when “progress” is defined and advanced by perpetually inefficient governing bodies. Has progress as exemplified by the improvements in infrastructure in Vicksburg and Warren County in the past several years been worth the cost to you? Are you willing to pay even higher taxes and utility bills in the future in order to support similar improvements? If you think that city and county leaders (and the school board) should reduce the cost of living here, what suggestions would you give them?

Published in: on July 23, 2007 at 1:01 am  Comments (7)  

The URI to TrackBack this entry is:

RSS feed for comments on this post.

7 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. The greatest way to reduce taxes locally is to combine the city and country governments. Create a board to begin a 10 year process to merge the two entities.

    We could combine everything from Police, Fire, medical emergency, roads, gas, water, animal control, sewage and whatever else is out there into one group.

    For example we currently pay for a Police Department and a Sheriff. While we are blessed with great men in charge of each there are numerous issues with this arrangement. First it cost more money to operate two facilities with separate administrations. Secondly the Sheriffs department charges the city for housing city prisoners. UNDERSTAND, we the taxpayer pay twice for that prisoner out of our pocket. WE provide money in the annual budget for the county to house the prisoners and then we have to pay again to house them.

    This is one example of where we will save money. Each department that is combined saves cost on administration, vehicles, gas and staff. I see this as the greatest way to save money.

    Mayor Lyens has endorsed this idea, as recently as this morning on the local talk show, “Live from the Klondyke”. Unfortunately With the current county board it will be more likely for General Pemberton to return and win the war.

  2. That would be a good subject to ask the candidates about during the upcoming forums.

  3. why do you think this port hasn’t attracted commutters to stay here eh? Property is too expensive and most basic entertainment ementies have closed. The city and county goverments should’ve been merged a long time ago. Still the city and county have this ridiculous feaud and we have people here who play up this port like it’s something important. In the Post two years ago over real estate one commuters she commented why she wouldn’t live here. She’s close to jackson and other parts of the metro. Now look around u and see the businesses closing. Like the cinema for example.

  4. yes, for a town this size the cost of living is too high. It can’t even attract a high end business here I bet becouse of the high real estate cost. And this town has issues when it comes to business competition. Why do you think some companies don’t want to bring thier businesses here? Becouse there isn’t anything for the locals to do. And I wonder what stores are going to close more in Pemberton Mall. Also why not do a poll that would shock the local politicians.
    Another fact that scares away businesses here. U know there is a tax on a business where everything the business owner owns is taxed. I’m not making this up and this hidden tax should be made public.

  5. I have lived in Houston and Austin, Texas as well as other parts of Mississippi, and as a whole Vicksburg is the most expensive place I have lived. I don’t know if its lack of strong competition as far as groceries and gasoline, but Vicksburg is not cheap compared to many communities around the country. I also found little selection in the housing stock here last year when I bought a home and what was here was expensive compared to Central Texas. With the exception of car tags, the property taxes here are LOW compared to other states where I have lived.

  6. That’s the reality some leaders in this community don’t want to face reality,Scott. U see this town has never made no best living poll either. It lacks infrastructure in retail. U know I wouldn’t buy a house here becouse of the costs. Beside being expensive retail business have been shutting down and the population hasn’t never grown. I can tell you there are a lot of locals who don’t like this place. I believe most busineses don’t want to bring thier business here becouse of the high prices. And the gambling boats should share the blame for pushing property prices upward. And this rift between city and county is so inmature.

  7. Well Live from the Klonike is talking about the inventory tax. And this tax is on everything that a business owns. Now it appears this tax may have scared some businesses. Hmmm could this inventory tax have bankrupt some businesses. But to come out tax indiuval items that one owns in a business is a bad idea. How many business has this tax shut down? And how many businesses have been scared away? Now who originated this arkane tax in the first place?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: