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Capitol City woes a statewide problem

A bill has passed the state House that would directly tax dollars from around the state to the Capital City.

The Capitol Complex bill, or House Bill 1226 could establish a Capitol Complex Improvement District. Five-members would make up a board of directors and an executive director would oversee the district along with a advisory board of 11 people, two of which would be appointed by the Governor, two by the Lt. Governor, and one by the mayor.

From there, just over 12 percent of the sales tax generated by Jackson would go towards infrastructure and road repairs for the city.

State taxpayer dollars would also be contributed to the upkeep of the city’s infrastructure.

Senate Appropriations Chair Buck Clarke of Hollandale said the state taxpayer dollars for the improvement is vital.

“My constituents want to understand it,” said Clarke. “And when they ride down the city streets, they do.”

House Appropriations Chair John Read said that he hasn’t had much feedback from his constituents in Gautier, but that the upkeep of the city is a state responsibility.

“I believe Jackson is the capital of the state. It’s everyone’s capital,” said Read. “And we’re trying to assist the city in bringing it back.”

While the financial assistance has been discussed in the past, the advisory board was contested on the House floor.

“Jackson is a majority black city, controlled by a majority city council, mayor and all that,” said Rep. Ed Blackmon of Jackson. “So it’s hard to see the good parts of the bill given the appearance.”

News Mississippi will continue to follow the Capitol Complex bill.


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