Thursday, February 2, 2006

City reviews fee policies

Staff Writer

The City of Holly Springs is taking a look at the fee structure it charges to provide services to new customers and ordinances that define what type of materials are used in replacing old service lines, such as sewer.

Don Hollingsworth, with the public works department, supplied cost figures and some proposed fee changes that are more in line with what it costs Holly Springs Utility Department to recover its costs when installing water and sewer lines. He said HSUD wants to implement standards and policies for these fees.

Mayor Andre’ DeBerry, during the most recent meeting, suggested the board table the standard policies and proposed changes until all aldermen were present.

Some other departments are also seeing changes. Ordinances will require subdivision developers to install sidewalks when they pour a driveway for a new home.

With that discussion, Hollingsworth recommended the board approve Phase III of West Subdivision with stipulation the developer pour sidewalks as each lot is built on.

The board approved hiring EyeMagic to help develop the city’s new web site, then revisited the topic of using lobbyists in Jackson to help the city with economic development projects, grants and legislation.

The board heard figures on how legislative HB 625 and HB644 and SB 2058 could affect city revenues if they pass the legislature.

“So, it is imperative these two laws (HB 644 and SB 2058) go back in,” Hollingsworth said.

HB 625 would reduce first-of-the-year inventory taxes on commodities, goods and wares held for resale by manufacturers, distributors or wholesale and retail merchants.

HB 644 and SB 2058 would reverse the tax breaks given to owners of affordable housing complexes provided in SB 3100 last year.

Tax assessor Ronnie Johnson said in a separate interview that if the tax breaks given in SB 3100 last year are not taken off, the City of Holly Springs could lose $60,000 in school tax revenue and $30,000 in revenue to the general fund.

HB 625 (elimination of business inventory taxes) would cost the county, cities and school districts to lose all together about $723,000, Johnson said. Holly Springs would lose about $147,000 in inventory tax revenues.

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