POSTED: 11:40 pm CDT September 4, 2008
- Video: Madison's Tax Backlash
Madison County Taxpayers Upset Over Double Increase
MADISON COUNTY, Miss. -- Madison County taxpayers are angry about a property tax hike double than anticipated, 16 WAPT reported.
The county's Board of Supervisors approved a 6.3 mil increase this week, which prompted a strong response to Feedback 16.
From the Internet to the radio, taxpayers want to know why their taxes jumped by the largest amount in the county's history, 16 WAPT's Joseph Pleasant said.
"I would personally like to see Tim Johnson, Karl Banks and Paul Griffin resign," said Frank Halford, a taxpayer, referencing the members of the Board of Supervisors who voted in favor of the mil increase.
The board heard public comment on a 3.3 mil increase before closing public comment and voting on a 6.3 mil increase.
"It's a classic case of bait and switch," Halford said.
Madison County taxpayers are angry at the Board of Supervisors and Board President Tim Johnson, in particular.
A radio ad tells listeners, "Tim Johnson raised your taxes. He had some help -- yeah -- but he was the ring leader."
Johnson, who spoke with 16 WAPT from Birmingham, said the mil tax increase will go exclusively to road projects in the county.
"I truly believe, as we build the infrastructure Madison County needs, that's going to encourage economic and commercial development," he said.
District 3 Supervisor D.I Smith said about 50 taxpayers have called and posted to his Web site DISmith.com. Smith said infrastructure is a top priority -- especially at the Gluckstadt Interstate 55 interchange -- but he voted against the tax increase.
"We ought to do it the way we did it in the past: A partnership," he said.
Smith points to the Highland Colony Parkway, where developers, cities and the counties funded the road without a tax increase.
"For families now, it's probably the worst time for us to have this type of tax increase," Smith said.
On a $200,000 home, the increase amounts to about $126. The increase will be even more for people annexed into the city of Madison this year. Smith said those residents will be paying about 28 mils in city taxes for the first time.
WAPT left messages for supervisors John Bell Crosby, Griffin and Banks, but they did not return the station's calls.