NATCHEZ, Miss. — Natchez Mayor Darryl Grennell says the city’s budget is hurt by unpaid taxes.
The first-term mayor told The Natchez Democrat (http://bit.ly/2cWy8Kg ) that about $100,000 promised to previous city budgets remains uncollected because some businesses have chosen to not pay personal property taxes on inventory, furniture and computers.
“We base our budget on those types of revenue, and when it is not collected it does affect us,” Grennell said. “We have to freeze certain departments in terms of spending, and that can be devastating.
“If we don’t have enough end-of-year cash balance to make it to the new fiscal year, we end up having to take out loans, which can cost the city more in interest,” he said. “It has a negative impact when it is not being collected.”
Adams County government is also affected by overdue taxes.
The county’s tax collector, Peter Burns, said about $357,000 in past-due business personal property remains uncollected. About $150,000 of that is from 2014 and earlier, and Burns said some of older debt likely would never be collected.
“Some businesses are closed and long gone from years ago,” Burns said. “Those amounts will stay on the books. There is no legal way to my knowing to remove them. Like any business, you are going to have some bad debt that is never going to be collected.”
For 2015 taxes due Feb. 1, 2016, Burns said his office collected about $7.7 million, and roughly $207,000 is past due. The money collected is split between the city, the Adams County Board of Supervisors and the Natchez-Adams School District.
Adams County, which also collects and sets millage for the school district, would be eligible to collect the remaining approximately $157,000. County Administrator Joe Murray said he budgets factoring in that only 98 percent of personal property taxes will be collected.
Information from: The Natchez Democrat, http://www.natchezdemocrat.com/