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Gov. Reeves signs bill regulating Jackson’s tax spending

Photo courtesy of SuperTalk Mississippi News

Governor Tate Reeves has signed a bill into law requiring the city of Jackson to provide monthly reports of how it spends its additional one percent tax dollars.

On Monday, Reeves signed House Bill 1168, authored by Representative Trey Lamar, R-Senatobia, originally authored to mandate for the city’s one percent infrastructure sales tax to only be used on fixing issues with the capital city’s water and sewer system.

The legislation was later amended to require Jackson to supply detailed monthly reports including the names of vendors and how much they were paid courtesy of the one percent sales tax.

Mississippi’s capital city will be subject to annual audits. Failure by the city to comply with audits and reporting requirements within 30 days after receiving written notice of noncompliance will result in the Department of Revenue withholding payments to the municipality.

Additionally, House Bill 698, authored by Representative Shonda Yates, I-Jackson, has passed both chambers and heads to the governor’s desk.

HB 698 prohibits Jackson from charging residents for water based off of the property value of one’s home, also known as equity billing. Instead, citizens would be charged based on the amount of water consumed, or used, in the home.

The motion follows a proposal from interim third-party water manager Ted Henifin to implement the equity-based billing system, which he says would reduce the monthly cost of water for lower-income residents in the city.

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