Thinking Outside Of The Box
On Page 8 of this week’s Herald, you will notice a resolution passed by the Yalobusha County Supervisors. In recent weeks, there have been numerous articles about economic development and the benefits to the county. And, during budgeting time, there have also been numerous stories about our county’s high millage rate.
Part of the reason that Yalobusha County has such a high millage rate is due to the fact that one-fourth of the entire land in the county is owned by one of three federal government agencies – the U.S. Corps of Engineers, the U.S. Forestry Service and the Bureau of Land Management.
On these portions of land in the county, Yalobusha County receives a Payment In Lieu of Taxes (P.I.L.T.) from the federal government.
In 2006, Yalobusha County only received a portion of the promised P.I.L.T. payment – $82,202. This amount is roughly $50,000 less than previously promised by the government.
But more important than that, and as more than one supervisor has put it, the land in Yalobusha County around Grenada Lake and especially Enid Lake is prime property. Much of the land is useable because it is on high ground and never floods.
The resolution asks our congressional delegation to increase the P.I.L.T. payment, or allow portions of the land to become available for private ownership – therefore fully taxable.
Any time you are dealing with the U.S. Corps it is a long, tedious process.
In our neighboring county to the north, Panola, the Corps leases several hundred acres to a municipality.
The land, located just off the Sardis Lake levee, is now the home to a fine marina and is taxed by Panola County.
This deal took more than two decades of wrangling, but the end result was worthwhile.
Which brings you back to the resolution on Page 8. It could be the start of important long-term planning to convert the thousands of government acreage into tax-producing land.