Thursday, October 20, 2011
Anderson presents state budget report
By SUE WATSON
Gary Anderson, consultant to the county board of supervisors, discussed a recent legislative budget hearing. He said the state is looking at a $400 million budget gap next year.
Anderson attended the September 19-23 meeting at the capitol in Jackson where he said Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant presided over the meeting which produced the following details.
• The state is looking at 1 percent growth for next year but faces a $400 million budget gap because economic stimulus dollars from the Obama administration and Congress have run out.
• Sales tax revenues, the main source of the state’s income, lag behind.
“Consumers are cautiously spending less money than what was projected because of the downturn in the economy or because they have less disposable income,” he said.
• Individual and corporate income taxes are up.
• The state retired $250 million in bonds.
“It would not surprise me if they use the state’s bonding authority to do roads and could rely on that more to plug the budget hole,” Anderson said.
• The state tax commission asked for authority to hire 50 more auditors to try to bring in more revenue.
• The state’s $10 billion budget is paid for by about $5 billion in federal dollars. For every dollar of federal income tax paid by citizens of the state, the citizens get back $1.72 from the federal government to be applied to state/federal projects, including Medicare and Medicaid. If there are cuts to the flow of federal dollars to Mississippi, state residents will be affected greater than lots of other states because the state relies on these federal resources, Anderson said.
Tax collector going after unpaid taxes
Marshall County Tax Collector Betty Byrd provided a report on insolvency to the board of supervisors. The delinquency report covered personal property and mobile home taxes that were not collected in 2011 as compared to this time last year.
There are 489 mobile home properties delinquent this year as compared to 545 delinquent in 2010. That resulted in a total uncollected tax on mobile homes this year of $48,640 as compared to $65,528 last year to the county and an overall amount due this year to the county and other governments of $83,863, Byrd said. The total delinquent mobile home taxes in 2010 (county and municipal governments) was higher at $107,392 last year.
Personal property insolvencies in 2010 were 186 as compared to 217 properties delinquent in 2009, down by 31 properties this year.
Overall, 87 properties (personal and mobile home) were due and unpaid this year with a total of $140,598 uncollected, Byrd said.
After presenting the insolvency list, Byrd said her office wants to file judgements to try to collect the money outstanding in taxes to the county, cities, towns and other taxing districts.
The board OK’d continuing with First State Bank as the county depository of record.
Now that the county has provided a cooler to hold corpses that must be stored until further handling, the county coroner has requested a privacy entrance to the facility. That will include a garage cover that ambulances or other vehicles may pull under to load or unload corpses and a privacy entrance to shield the moving of bodies from the public view.
County administrator Larry Hall said the building and grounds crew has already drawn up a set of plans to construct the privacy barrier. The storage unit, which slows decomposition of corpses until further disposal, is located at the old jail facility in Holly Springs where other offices such as the Highway Patrol driver’s license office is located.
Hall presented the county inventory report as of September 30. The county inventory comes to $138,060,411, which includes all properties, equipment, roads, bridges, buildings, etc.
Of these, $16 million is accounted for by bridges, $100 million by roads and $9 million is in buildings, he said.
Hall reported on the status of rehabilitation of Chalmers Institute after receiving a letter from the Mississippi Department of Archives and History commending the Preserve Marshall County and Holly Springs organization for their efforts to stabilize and preserve the property for future tourism or other activities.
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