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Adams County, Mississippi officials getting raises thanks to new laws

NATCHEZ — Two local elected officials in Adams County and across the state will soon be getting raises thanks to the Legislature.

Gov. Phil Bryant recently signed two laws that would give raises to Mississippi sheriffs and tax collectors.

Each sheriff is paid based on how many people live in the county he or she serves, and the law collapses eight current population-based pay brackets into five new ones.

Under the current law, sheriffs’ pay ranges from $55,000 in counties with 9,500 or fewer residents to $90,000 in any county with at least 200,000 people.

Under the new law, Adams County Sheriff Chuck Mayfield’s salary will be $80,000 effective July 1. Mayfield is also paid a local supplement of $10,000.

Mayfield’s current salary, including the local supplement, is approximately $72,000.

The raise, Mayfield said, is the first sheriffs have received in more than a decade.

Mayfield said he did not participate in the lobbying for the raise and mostly kept up with the progress of the bill through the Mississippi Sheriffs’ Association.

Mayfield said he does believe the sheriffs of Mississippi deserve a raise.

“Obviously I wouldn’t turn down a raise,” he said. “We spend a lot of our time working, and the cost of living has gone up for everybody, too.”

The raises will be funded by process-serving fees for a variety of legal documents, such as warrants in criminal cases. A law enacted in 2007 specified that a portion of such fees was to be set aside for sheriffs’ salaries, and supporters of the pay raises said the fees should generate enough money to cover the raises

Bryant also signed a bill giving tax collectors and deputy tax collectors a $2,000 yearly raise for completing a first stage of official training, another $2,000 raise for completing a second phase, and an additional $2,500 for completing a third phase of training.

The raises are effective Oct. 1.

Adams County Tax Collector Peter Burns was unavailable for comment.