Clerk to supes: County has overcollected taxes by $300K

Published 12:00 am Thursday, March 27, 2003

WOODVILLE&045;Halfway through the current fiscal year, Wilkinson County has over-collected taxes in the amount of $300,000, Chancery Clerk Thomas Tolliver told county supervisors at their meeting on Monday.

&uot;It appears that you may have been collecting 20 to 25 percent more revenue than you can legally expend,&uot; Tolliver said.

Properties were reappraised at higher values last year, but supervisors elected not to lower the millage rate. As a result, tax collections are exceeding the previous year’s receipts by more than the 10 percent cap allowed by law.

Email newsletter signup

&uot;Don’t think you can spend it, because you can’t,&uot; said Tolliver, announcing that he had placed the funds in an escrow account.

At the end of the fiscal year, the board must advertise its intent to spend the excess collections, and taxpayers may then petition for an election to have the money applied as a credit against the next year’s collections.

Tolliver also informed the board that the county must repay a $431,000 loan from Commercial Bank next week. The money was borrowed in November to cover a cash shortfall at the beginning of the fiscal year.

Since Oct. 1, the county has spent 49 percent of the amount it budgeted for general fund expenses, and 41 percent of other fund expenses such as road districts.

Tolliver stressed the need for all departments to stay within their allotments.

&uot;Just because you budget something does not mean you have to spend it. We have to deal with what we have in the bank,&uot; he said, announcing plans to begin random audits of consumable expenditures, such as gas and diesel for county trucks and heavy equipment.

&uot;I am noticing a significant increase in consumables. I’m going to spot-check your tanks on weekends. You might not see me personally, but I’m going to get the information I need,&uot; Tolliver said.

In other action, the board informed Wilkinson County Economic Development Director Stan Rouprich that the county-owned building vacated by Fruit of the Loom would not be available to Louisiana company interested in locating here.

Rouprich said Team Building Systems had expressed an interest in the building, which is situated in the industrial park on U.S. 61 south of Woodville.

The company, which manufactures metal panels for buildings, would hire approximately 15 employees if they located in Wilkinson County. Fourth District Supervisor Robert Morgan said the building is too large for a company with only 15 employees.

&uot;We have property &045; if they will build their own building, we can give them the property,&uot; said Morgan, who favors using the former FOL building for a community center. Rouprich said the county should take any jobs it can get.

&uot;If we keep setting our goals too high, we are never going to get anybody,&uot; he said.