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

Source: The Vicksburg Post, August 22 & 23, 2007

 

District 4 Supervisor Carl Flanders made it clear during his town-hall style meeting Tuesday night: despite large increases in the amount of property taxes (due to revaluations) paid by homeowners, county tax rates will not be coming down. Why? “Homestead exemptions and breaks approved for industrial improvements” …and breaks approved for area industries… and 4% raises for county employees… have eliminated the possibility. As one attendee at the meeting, Joe Lyons, put it regarding tax breaks for industries, “Me as a common Joe out here, I’m paying for their tax exemption.”

 

Controversy looms in particular for one county budget item, i.e., the amount of money “given” to charities by the Board of Supervisors; requests from charities totals $593,500 for budget year 2008. It is illegal for supervisors to provide money for charitable causes, but the board has in the past obtained approval through legislation to fund charitable causes of their choice. These include United Way, the Main Street Program, the Mississippi National Guard, the Warren County Children’s Shelter, Warren Washington Issaquena Sharkey Community Action Agency, the Firefighter’s Burn Center, American Red Cross, Community Council, Haven House, Keep Vicksburg Beautiful, Boys and Girls Clubs, The Initiative, Central Mississippi Prevention Services, Child Abuse Prevention Center, HIV Services, Inc., We Care  Community Services, Vicksburg Family Development Services, Mississippi Food Services, Triumph Ministries, and Women’s Restoration Services.

 

In order to provide property tax relief for homeowners in Warren County, the Board of Supervisors would have to reduce expenditures. Is that a worthy goal? If so, where should the cuts in expenditures be made?

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Published in: on August 24, 2007 at 1:39 am  Comments (6)  

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6 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. The real problem with the city and county: they have overtaxed theier own locals. And with overtaxing both have not attracted businesses at all. Property owners deserve a refund. And so do business owners.

  2. Why does the Warren County Board of Supervisors exist in the first place? Decades ago it made sense to have two separate governments because of the technological difficulties in governing a large area. Today we have the technology. At the minimum we should form a panel to study the feasibility of combining governments. Here again is the alternative plan:

    Combine the services of county and city. Create a Five-member Warren County government with a Mayor and four Aldermen. An Alderman from the North, South, East and West corners with each having a section of city and county in their representative areas.

    Create a board to oversee the transfer and joining of services that will self eliminate in x number of years (less than 10). The city codes would apply to the county only in new property transfers. The existing ‘non-code’ that exist in the county will remain as long as you own your property, but when it changes hands via a sale or any legal transfer (death, establishment of a trust, change to a business structure of some type et al) then the codes will be applicable to that real estate.

    It will take 40 years or longer for the county to be 100% up to code, but that is 40 years closer than it is now.

    Just the simple change of government structure will save millions every year over the current structure. The removal of three ‘alderman/supervisor’ positions will save $165,000 in payroll alone. The related cost of these eliminations will decrease expenses another $20,000 or so per position.

    The combining of the Sheriffs Department with the Police Department will save the cost of one administrator and eliminate one entire office saving the taxpayers the cost of owning, cooling, staffing and placing equipment in that office. Each department that is combined will have the same effect of saving office expense.

    Those millions can be passed on to the taxpayers in the form of a tax decrease.

    Another benefit is the increase of land value based upon code enforcement. Additionally Warren County will be heading in one direction instead of the fractured governmental quagmire of city vs county maintained by the current supervisors.

    As a side note on this topic the inventory tax mentioned several times in this forum could be eliminated or reduced to the point it is a non-issue. The inventory tax is an annual assessment of your assets as a business owner. You must pay every year for the property and inventory you have. This tax is one of the reasons Calsonic has left our area and is the reason a new and large business will think twice about locating here. It is an archaic and barbaric tax that exists without any support for inventory or property in the form of code, fire safety or unique police protection from the Supervisors. It is the reason America was founded, Taxation without Representation.

  3. […] Warren Co.: Will residents ever get a tax break? […]

  4. I am in favor of combining city and county governments…..duplication of services is costly and totally unnecessary.
    It also baffles me when Vicksburg is referred to as a “retirement community”. This is fine and good for those New York and California residents moving here who think the cost of living is a wonderful break, but for those of us who’ve been here our entire lives, the cost of living in Vicksburg really stretches our retirement income to the hilt! WE NEED A BREAK!!!!!

  5. I believe that combining both goverments is a wonderful idea. U see for a long time there has been this rift between the city and the county. The city snobs would look down on those who live in county. DUH real stupid. Another fact that should be considered is this: why hasn’t Vicksburg’s stagnant population in the city and county has growned? How come you have no real honest competition. For a retirement community this is frankly a joke. Perception is everything and this town’s image in Jackson and Monroe,La as a town with nothing to do. Also with low end business in retail it has a perception as town that doesn’t have anything. Shortsightfulness hasn’t gotten this town forward it has only hurt in the long run.

  6. Please include a link to http://www.VicksburgHeritage.com the “What When & Where” of Arts, Music, Entertainment and Heritage Events in Vicksburg.

    VHL offers an excellent calendar, spotlighting the music and arts scene in Vicksburg’s Historic District.

    Thank you,
    Shirley Waring
    President
    Vicksburg Heritage League


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