Collection of taxes must be priorityPublished 12:00am Wednesday, November 21, 2012
Dozens of ways to avoid paying what you owe to the government exist and some are even advertised on TV these days. But for many, there’s simply no science to not mailing in that check.
As a result, both Adams County and the State of Mississippi are pursuing ways to collect taxes owed to them.
Locally, recent attention has turned to mobile home taxes, collection of which is, apparently a moving target.
The tax collector has no idea how much the county may be owed, since he doesn’t even know how many mobile homes exist in the county.
On the state level, $395 million in owed taxes was unaccounted for when notices went out recently. Only $1.2 million of that money was paid once the notices were received.
We understand that some who choose not to pay their taxes are doing so because they don’t have the money. We know prioritizing between food for the children and the taxman is a rough place to be.
But, when taxes go unpaid, governments are forced to increase the tax rate on those who are paying, creating a nasty cycle of strain for even more family budgets.
Local, state and federal governments have an obligation to do whatever they can to retrieve unpaid taxes. It’s not only fair, but also necessary to keep governments open and public services available.
Collecting money that should be in the coffers must be priority No. 1 in the government budgeting process.