Court weighing decision concerning Chevron tax money


[Resent id=12652451 2011-09-16 15:03:49 from mississippipep] » Mississippi Business Journal: msbusiness.com/2011/09/court-weighing-decision-con…money

JACKSON COUNTY — Pascagoula School District leaders said the double whammy of drastically reduced state funding and potential loss of revenue from major industry will cause home and business owners’ property taxes to go up.

Property tax is not going up this year, but the district said should they not prevail in a case being weighed by the Mississippi Supreme Court, that will definitely change.

In order for the school district to avoid such measures as job cuts, that could mean an increase of four to five mills each year for the next several years, board member Dan Marks said during a presentation this week.

An extra mill equals about $10 in annual taxes for each $100,000 of a home’s worth.

Stemming from a 2007 law, the dispute pits the school district and the city of Pascagoula on one side and Jackson County, Moss Point and Ocean Springs school districts on the other. It requires that tax revenue from expansions at Chevron and a new liquefied natural gas terminal be divided, based on student population, among all districts in the county. Pascagoula encompasses schools in Gautier.

Over two years, reductions in state funding and decreased Chevron and LNG revenue would take a $2.8 million bite out of school district revenue, Marks said.

Well over half is from the industrial expansions.
“We cannot sustain these losses,” board member Mike Concannon said.

The district and city appealed the law, but the appeal was denied by a Jones County judge. In July, the court granted both sides the opportunity to submit additional arguments.

Both sides did so and are awaiting the court’s decision.

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