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Report To The People

Funding For State Parks Up By $200,000

By Tommy Reynolds

In the last week of the 2011 legislative session, the final version of the appropriations bill funding our state parks was passed. HB Bill 1181 raised the state’s General Fund level for state parks support from $4,159,000 dollars last year to $4,359,000 for the comingyear.

The House of Representa-tives originally voted to raise the level of funding for state parks for the next fiscal year by $1,000,000.00 over the current years appropriation for parks.

The state Senate, on the other hand, voted to cut state spending for parks by $159,000 from current year’s spending for parks.  The difference in funding for our state parks would have been $1,159,000. In the final compromised version of the appropriation bill, the funding level for state parks is up by $200,000 from the current year for next fiscal year. Hundreds of thousands of Mississippians use our state parks every year.

On the Governors’ desk is a bill which would provide $3,000,000 in proceeds of bonds for improvements of facilities, as well as providing funding for buildings, equipment and infrastructure in our state parks.  There is a great need for modernization and repair of our state parks facilities and these funds should help toward these goals.

I am pleased that the Legislature has also passed the annual appropriation bill to fund homestead reimbursement to local governments throughout our state.  

The Legislature appropriated $81,190,281.00 to provide reimbursement to counties and local governments for homestead exemption for tax savings they provide to our citizens.

The Senate had proposed $75,100,000, for homestead reimbursement funding for local government, but the House was able to secure an additional $6,000,000 in the final version of the bill. Homestead exemption reimbursement helps local governments to provide Home-stead Exemption without raising taxes on other properties.

If I can be of any assistance to you please call on me.  My phone number in Jackson during the session is (601) 359-3369.  The phone number in my Charleston office is (662) 647-3203, and my residence phone is (662) 473-2571.  

I can also be contacted by writing to me at my home address of 15 CR 429, Water Valley, Mississippi 38965, or at my office address of P. O. Drawer 220, Charleston, Mississippi 38921.

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