Wednesday, January 3, 2007
Jackson, like other cities and towns throughout the state, is submitting a list of requests for the state Legislature to consider in order to help Jackson balance tumbling revenues and the 40 percent of the city that is non-taxable property.
The city's Santa list this year includes a bill authorizing an additional $1 on uniform traffic citations, and another bill to impound or tow vehicles for failure to pay violations or parking fines. Another bill would legalize the use of red light laser equipment within the city limits for bagging speeders, while another would ease placing liens on property owned by people who don't pay their fines or warrants. That property includes vehicles, meaning you can't get your car tag if you don't pay your fines.
The city is also looking to collect money more directly. One bill seeks a 2 percent gasoline sales tax diversion to go repair the city's crumbling infrastructure, and another would adjust the Capital Improvement Sales Tax, adding another 18.5 percent to the current 7 percent, for a total tax of 25 percent.
The city is also requesting about $2 million in one-time money to rehabilitate or demolish dilapidated structures, and the city supports a bill that would authorize tax credits to all homeowners for energy-efficient home improvement, such as adding insulation, replacing inefficient windows or heating or cooling system upgrades between Jan. 1, 2007, and Dec. 31, 2008.
In addition, the city is asking the state to put in $4 million to match $5 million in federal money to finance Phase 3 of the Jackson Metro Parkway, and IMPACT fees for improvements to schools, roads and parks.
Perhaps the most important legislation supported by the city is an effort to grant payment in lieu of taxes to make up for the revenue lost to untaxable property throughout the city.
"We don't have a hard amount we're asking for, so we'll take whatever they give us," Ward 6 Councilman Marshand Crisler said.