MCHA press release

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					For Immediate Release
August 29, 2012

                Federation of Madison County Homeowners’ Associations
             Announces Opposition to Proposed Madison County Tax Increase

       Madison, Mississippi – Today, the Board of Directors of the Federation of Madison
County Homeowners’ Associations, announced, on behalf of its membership which represents
more than 5000 property owners, that it opposes the proposed tax increase in Madison County,
including those increases applicable to those taxpayers residing in Flora, Canton, Madison and
Ridgeland (the “Municipalities”).

       The Madison County Board of Supervisors has scheduled a public hearing for September
4, 2012, to consider proposed tax increases on all residents of Madison County. The Board of
Supervisors has failed to provide sufficient justification to raise taxes on any resident of Madison
County. The Board of Supervisors argues that this tax increase is less than 5%, but has failed to
propose budget cuts to cover the shortfall. Further, the Board of Supervisors suggests that the
purpose of the tax increase is “tax equalization, fairness and compliance with state law.”

        The County proposes to raise taxes by 2.8 mills, for the Solid Waste Fund, on County
residents who live outside the Municipalities. Several years ago, the Board of Supervisors
decided to get into the trash collection business to save money over what was being charged by a
privately owned collection service. The County government argued that it could do the job
better and cheaper than the private sector. Now, a short time later, the County proposes to raise
taxes to subsidize the government’s operation and management of garbage collection.

        The County also proposes a .86 mil tax increase on County residents living outside of
Municipalities to subsidize the Fire Protection Fund. The citizens in the South Madison County
Fire Protection District voluntarily had their taxes raised 3 mills in 2007, and, now, the County
proposes to raise taxes again for the Fire Protection Fund.

        The tax increases for the Fire Protection Fund and the Solid Waste Fund are proposed
with a stated purpose of equalizing the burden borne by residents of the Municipalities and the
County. However, there is no corresponding decrease for Municipal residents. If the purpose of
the tax increase is to equalize the tax burden, and not to simply increase taxes on one
constituency, then the Municipal residents should, mathematically, receive a corresponding
decrease to their tax burden.

        Finally, the County proposes a .8 mil tax increase for all County and Municipal residents
for the stated purpose of complying with State Law regarding the Reappraisal Trust Fund. The
County argues that Section 27-39-320 of the Mississippi Code requires the County to levy 1 mil
for the Reappraisal Trust Fund. In fact, it is Section 325, not Section 320, that governs
reappraisal funds and this is an incorrect statement of the law. Section 325 does not require the
County to levy 1 mil for reappraisal. To the contrary, Section 325 prohibits the collecting of
more funds than are required to defray the cost of reappraisal. A Board of Supervisors may, by
law, only collect those funds necessary to defray the cost of reappraisal. Section 325 is titled
“Authority of counties to levy on taxable property within county to defray cost of
reappraisal”, and provides, “No board of supervisors shall make the levy authorized herein for a
period of years longer than necessary to pay for reappraisal of property within the county or to
repay any indebtedness authorized herein.” If the County needs funds to defray the cost of
reappraisal, then the Board of Supervisors should be open and honest about what it needs and not
suggest, incorrectly, that the law requires a full 1 mil levy.


For more information, press only:

John D. Moore, President
Federation of Madison County Homeowners’ Associations
601-853-9131
johndmoore@msn.com

				
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