Lower car tag rebates slam city, county, school coffers

Published 12:00 am Friday, April 24, 2009

Year-to-date shortfalls in state car tag reimbursements to local governments and schools are approaching a quarter-million dollars, according to numbers from the Warren County Tax Collector’s Office.

Overall payments for 2009 to Vicksburg, Warren County and the Vicksburg Warren School District through March totaled $621,625.57, down more than a third from $950,899.43 collected for the opening three months of 2008.

Based on totals expected for each of the three months, payments from the Mississippi State Tax Commission to the three entities were short $242,319.19.

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Broken out, the Vicksburg Warren School District is short $116,050.62 for the year while county coffers are short $96,324.06. Vicksburg’s was down $29,944.51.

The payments are due to local entities under a tax swap enacted in 1994 that raised the sales tax on vehicles from 3 percent to 5 percent and pledged the added state revenue would be paid back to local governments to lower tag prices.

In Mississippi, car tags are treated as a value-based property tax. Slumping car sales have cut into the state fund. The Tax Commission voted to lessen the discount for the year that begins July 1. An increase in the state excise tax on cigarettes has been promoted as a way to keep the tag prices down. The House and Senate are expected to act on the situation in May or June.


Contact Danny Barrett Jr. at dbarrett@vicksburgpost.com