Council hears about expected Internet sales tax diversion income

Published 7:00 am Thursday, September 20, 2018

Additional funding for infrastructure will be available to municipalities due to the mandated collection of sales tax from Internet purchases.

State Senator Angela Hill updated the Picayune City Council about the potential for additional funding due to the change and how much they can expect to receive during Tuesday’s meeting.

Hill said the state expects to collect about $50 million from the additional tax revenue, which she said is conservative. Of that amount, $3 million will be divided evenly amongst the 299 municipalities within the state. City Clerk Amber Hinton estimated that would amount to $10,000 per city.

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The rest of the $50 million will be split according to an average of each city and county’s five years worth of infrastructure spending. Hill said that according to the city’s average in that regard, Picayune can expect to receive about $440,878. Counties will receive funding based on their total amount of road miles. Since Pearl River County has one of the most road miles in the state, Hill estimated that $839,000 could be diverted to the county. It may be a year or two before cities and counties can expect to receive that extra funding.

Demolition of structures on property owned by AP Guizerix, formerly known as the APG gas station, was discussed during the public hearing to declare properties as public nuisances. Demolition of the building is set for early October. While the building will certainly be torn down using heavy equipment, Guizerix said he is unsure whether the equipment will be able to demolish the stronger concrete structures housing above ground fuel tanks. However, the contractor seems sure that his equipment will be able to finish the work. Once the job is complete, only a concrete slab will remain.

Guizerix said he is willing to let anyone with the means to do so reclaim any materials from the station itself, such as lumber.

He was given 60 days by the Council to finish the demolition process.

A home located at 5005 Angler Drive was also a topic of discussion during the public hearing. Numerous neighbors in the area told the Council that the problem has been ongoing for at least three years. The owner of the property was also given 60 days to rectify the problems with the property, including broken windows and overgrown vegetation.

In other business the Council:

— Approved a motion to adopt the fiscal year 2019 tax levy requested by the Picayune School District. Hinton said the levy for the coming year will be slightly less than last year’s.

— Approved a travel request for Christy Goss to attend the Keep Mississippi/Alabama Beautiful conference in Orange Beach Ala, on Oct. 24 and 25.

— Approved a conditional use request from Dale Rouse to place a mobile home on her property located on Rouse Road, which is zoned agricultural. Councilor Wayne Gouguet opposed.

The next Council meeting will be Oct. 2, at 5 p.m. in City Hall.