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County Officials Breeze Through Routine Meeting To Start The New Year

By David Howell

COFFEEVILLE– Supervisors worked efficiently through a lengthy agenda in the first meeting in 2014 that included mostly routine matters.
    Mechanics Bank was selected as the county’s depository, after bidding a half-percent interest rate for banking the county’s funds in 2014. The bid was opened during the Monday meeting, Jan. 6. The half-percent bid remained unchanged from 2013, when Mechanics was also awarded the bid.
    A bid from Renasant Bank for a quarter-percent was also accepted as a secondary bid to bank money from departments operating in the Coffeeville Courthouse. Rena-sant Bank operates the sole bank in Coffeeville, and is used for Coffeeville deposits from the tax assessor’s office, as well as the Chancery Clerk and Circuit Clerk’s office. The money is emptied into the higher-paying Mechanics account monthly.
    A third bid from Region’s Bank offered a floating interest rate with a  floor of .055 percent was deemed the lowest bid.
    Another matter settled for 2014 was employment of legal counsel for the board. Crow Martin LLC was rehired for the job, a position John Crow has held for over 30 years until the position was turned over to his firm in 2012.
    Board President Tommy Vaughn cast the sole dissenting vote against Crow.
    “Let the minutes show it was a 4-1 vote,” Vaughn said.
    Other business discussed at the meeting included:
    •Scheduled a flood ordinance hearing for Larry Townes for Jan. 21, the date of the next supervisors’ meeting.
    • Agreed to publish an article from the Mississippi Association of Supervisors in both newspapers  in the county (see Page 6) asking legislators to repeal the 2005 law that allows Section 42 developments to avoid payment of local taxes.  Section 42 properties are affordable rental units for low-income individuals. Property owners get tax credits for investing in low-income properties.    
    For years counties factored in the tax credits when calculating the apartments’ income for taxation purposes. In 2005, the Legislature passed a law saying the tax credits should not be considered, but many counties, continued to do so, prompting a lawsuit from Section 42 housing developers.
    In October, the Missis-sippi Supreme Court ruled Humphreys County used the wrong method to determine property taxes on Section 42 housing and ordered the county to reimburse taxes collected since 2006. The ruling applies statewide.
    • Approved an application from Fly Timber to exceed the post weight limit on County Road 90 in District 1 while hauling timber.
    • Accepted homestead corrections from Tax Assessor/Collection Linda Shuffield that stemmed from changes in the taxpayer’s status. The changes included Pat Aston, over 65; and  changing the following applicants to disabled: William D. Robinson, Deborah Dickey, James Russell, Joe Willie Pomerlee, Cleveland Alexander, Claraline Garner, Edward Pipkin, Lawrence Matthews and Mary Spencer.
    • Accepted bids for purchasing commodities for the county in 2014. The bids will be awarded on Jan. 21 at a recessed meeting.
    • Adopted an ordinance for disposition of lost, stolen, abandoned, misplaced or confiscated property.

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