Regions Bank purchases city’s capital improvement bonds

Published 12:09 pm Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Regions Capital Advantage Inc., a subsidiary of Regions Bank, was the low bidder to handle the city of Vicksburg’s $11 million capital improvements bond issue.

The Board of Mayor and Aldermen on Monday awarded the sale to Regions, which bid a 1.6 percent interest rate on the bonds. Trustmark Bank, the only other bidder, bid 1.8 percent.

Tray Hairston with bond counsel Butler Snow of Jackson said the city decided to go out for bids because the interest rates were low. The bonds, he said, will be paid using revenue from Internet sales tax reimbursements to the city.

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The bill authorizing the Internet sales tax diversions was approved by the Mississippi Legislature at an August 2018 special session. The city receives the disbursements twice a year and began receiving its share of diversion funds during the 2020 fiscal year when it received $208,596.77. It has received $1.006 million so far in 2021.

“It’s a direct revenue source,” Hairston said. “You (the city) started receiving the Internet tax in January 2020 so you’ve got two years’ worth of collections. They will continue going. Those revenue streams will provide full cover for the debt service and put more back into the city coffers once the debt is paid.”

Mayor George Flaggs Jr. said issuing the bonds for capital improvements “is a better way than spending $200,000 every year (on projects).”

“What the city is doing instead of piecemeal every year, you’re simply using and leveraging this Internet sales tax. You see money flow and projects start to happen,” Hairston said. “I think this is a very good deal for the city.”

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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