Is it time to combine our two governments?

It’s been discussed for years: Combine the government of the City of Vicksburg and the Warren County Board of Supervisors into one entity. There is little doubt that there would be a savings to the taxpayers, but many residents of both the county and the city oppose the idea for one reason or another. For two opinions on the merits of a combined government, I refer you to comments in this blog:

Warren Co.: Will residents ever get a tax break?

But what is your opinion? What will be the effect on property taxes, law enforcement, city/county building and zoning codes, governmental structure, etc.? If it’s a good idea, what is the procedure for achieving a combined city/county government?

Published in: on August 24, 2007 at 3:31 pm  Comments (5)  

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5 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I agree with the other post in this blog about combining governments and eliminating the inventory tax.

    Another factor this seems prevalent among long term seated politicians is the want to increase taxes. It seems the longer one sits in office the more their need to increase revenue instead of cut cost.

    We have good people in office in this county and city. They are good public servants and appear to have the best interest of the county and city at heart.

    However it is time to combine efforts, reduce the tax burden and focus our collective community towards making Vicksburg a grand destination for those of retirement age and all others who want to visit.

    The fact that it has not happened already makes me wonder why. Perhaps there are unknown factors that make it impossible. I hope the community leaders see the topic above and make a comment, like Gil Martin did regarding the Tillman case and the rumors.

  2. it’s way pass time to combine. This should’ve been done over ten years ago.

  3. Here’s another fact. A combination of city and county gov’rs could end a long time rift. For years from what I learn the city has always looked down on those of us who live in the county. In my opinion it’s real stupid,outdated snobbery on some of the city to look down on those who are living in the county. But a combination would end this long standing rift and feud which some see within this state as stupid on behalf of some idiotic people here. The world has changed and will continue to change. On some bullentin boards I’ve read Vicksburg has a perception as “being stuck in the 1950s.”

  4. Senator Chaney responded to my question regarding the combining of the governments of Warren County and the City of Vicksburg as follows:

    “The City of Vicksburg is the only incorporated body in Warren County. For the City and county to combine government under existing law, the city must be merged into the County Government. ( be deChartered-my word choice.) The city would no longer exist and the county would be the surviving governmental entity. The Board could then hire a manager to run Government. (Some laws might need to be twicked on taxation issues-such as who would get sales tax normally going to a city that no longer exist.)”

    Senator Chaney indicated that a more detailed explanation of the process would be forthcoming.

  5. Regarding combining City and County governments: The hurdle is that the supervisor form of government(County) is defined in the Constitution of the State of Mississippi. It was done that way to assure a uniform system for all counties. Cities are incorporated in a varity of ways and forms which are far from uniform and are “Legislative” in nature. The Mississippi Constitution makes no provision for combining governments, so an amendment to the Constitution would be necessary for this to take place. I think you recognize the virtual impossibility of that happening.

    Yes, in theory, the City could dissolve its government and the County would become the governing body, but the mechanics of that are also not practical.

    What will work, and what should be done, is a combining of functions and services wherever possible.
    Recreation is an example of one which could and should be combined. The tax collection functions were combined many years ago into one office and works quite well.

    Needless to say, this all depends on the two governing bodies being willing to work together to combine those services which can be combined efficiently. A long ardous task-yes-but possible with, I think, great benefits to the citizens.

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