Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Is bill that "helps" Jackson really a Trojan horse?

Jackson City Council President Melvin Priester, Jr. provided an update on Facebook about the Capital Improvement District Bill.  Things are a'changing and maybe not for the better.  Mr. Priester wrote:

So you can be up to speed on today's news, I want to make the following absolutely clear before whatever happens today happens with regards to the Capital Improvement District Bill.

When the Council voted in the fall in favor of this proposal, it was basically a repeat of the 1% sales tax set up. There was going to be a defined, regular pool of funds (a percentage of sales taxes raised in the City of Jackson, not a tax increase, just a percent of money already being raised). The was going to be a 5 member commission with an advisory board that would select projects which the City would also need to approve jointly. There was a "capital zone" that would include UMC, Downtown, Jackson State, parts of Fondren and Bellhaven. Basically, this was a way to have the state pay a bit on the infrastructure in the area around the capital and big state entities like UMC that don't pay any taxes but require lot's of upkeep.

Again, let me emphasize, this looked like the 1% sales tax commission. There was going to be a partnership. There were some concerns such as having a paid executive doing the day-to-day and giving the capital police more authority. But, hey, don't look a gift horse in the mouth.

Well, last night, the gift horse changed into a Trojan horse.

The legislature has stripped funds from the bill. There is no tax diversion anymore, instead, the district gets what it gets at the will of the legislature when it chooses to appropriate money. No money has been appropriated for this year.

Also, the new version of this bill creates a special judicial district in the zone where an unelected judge appointed by the governor would have sole jurisdiction over criminal matters that arise in the district pending the appropriation of funds. That is new and that turns this into an annexation bill in my opinion.

Look, I don't know what is going to happen the rest of the day on this as this is potentially the last day of session. I provide below a link to the primary documents so people will know that this is very different than the 1% sales tax situation, there is no actual money attached to this any longer, and the format is now something totally different than what was originally proposed to the council back in November when we voted in favor of this initiative.

Read bill for yourself

Kingfish note:  The bill does redefine law enforcement jurisdiction in the district:

SECTION 10. (1) The Department of Finance and Administration shall have jurisdiction relative to the enforcement of all laws of the State of Mississippi within the boundaries of the district.

(2) Subject to the availability of funds appropriated specifically therefor, the County Court of Hinds County shall have original and sole jurisdiction for all matters related to criminal offenses arising from the violation of any law of the State of Mississippi, which occurs within the boundaries of the district, and such jurisdiction shall be the same as if the matters had been assigned by a judge of the circuit court. Subject to the availability of funds appropriated specifically therefor, the Governor shall appoint a special county judge who shall be the sole judge to preside over all such matters. The judge appointed under this subsection (2) shall have the same qualifications required for county judges. In making the appointment of the special county judge under this subsection (2), the Governor shall select from three (3) persons recommended to him by the board of directors of the district.
The judge is unelected.  However, JPD and HCSO will probably have jurisdiction within the district as well as the capitol police.   The bill provides "sole jurisdiction" to the new county court but does not designate the capitol police as having "sole jurisdiction".

However, it appears Mr. Priester is right and the bill provides no actual money to Jackson as it did in its earlier versions.  The original bill that passed the House stated:

c) On or before August 15, 2016, and each succeeding month thereafter, twelve and one-half percent (12-1/2%) of the total sales tax revenue collected during the preceding month under the provisions of this chapter, except that collected under the provisions of Sections 27-65-15, 27-65-19(3), 27-65-21 and 27-65-24, on business activities within the corporate limits of the City of Jackson, Mississippi, shall be allocated for distribution as follows:

(i) Fifteen percent (15%) of the revenue so collected shall be allocated for distribution to the City of Jackson, Mississippi, to compensate the city for general police and fire protection provided by the city in the Capitol Complex Improvement District created in Section 2 of this act and for police coverage for major events conducted within such district; and

(ii) The remainder of such revenue shall be deposited into the Capitol Complex Improvement District Project Fund created in Section 9 of this act.

There is no mention of a separate court.  St


Anonymous said...

This is wild

Anonymous said...

I think the actual board is 5 members but the ADVISORY board is 11.

Anonymous said...

Gotta pay for those tax cuts for the folks that gave Tater over $3 million and Feel over $1 million to use personally.

Anonymous said...

Jackson may not like this bill but this is the only thing that will save Jackson. Money with a leadership structure attached to it. This is not good but what else can you do when a city can not self govern and its people need basic services.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like there are all kinds of groups popping up to take the place of the people who are already being paid to do the job. Each group wants their own cookie jar. Can't people understand that is how Jackson got in this place to begin with.
Is Jackson so far over the hill that everyone wants to pick the bones of the capital city? There isn't really that much to fight over anymore but everyone wants something out of Jackson before the finally collapse.

Anonymous said...

Everybody in the metro area should hope that the legislature passes this bill. While it does not include the funding for this year, it is being done in a year of tight statewide budgets. Once it gets up and operating, it will be funded which will allow the infrastructure in the area to be handled - and without having to make sure that the Mayor's buddies and those of the Council get a share of it!

The separate judicial district and police functions also will make this area of Jackson become a safer place to live and work - for anybody that wants to live in or traverse the area.

Sorry Priester that you don't like the final version. Sorry that they are suggesting that the current 'leadership' of Jackson can't handle its own business. Y'all keep begging the state to pay for your playthings - its time that the state says that they will pay for it only if they can make sure the money is spent wisely.

Please legislature -pass this bill. Let the Council cry all day long that they don't get another piggy bank into which they can inject their sticky hands.

Anonymous said...

The state is taking preemptive steps to protect the State's interest. The governor of Michigan and the state of Michigan are being held liable for the misgivings of flint and its leadership.. the state of Mississippi will not put up with what jackson has set for the future. No bid contracts and kickbacks do not work when you are already broke. If negligence is going to be held against the governor and the state, you best believe they will make the money work for jackson even if jackson won't work for itself.

Anonymous said...

If Jackson leadership wants state help, the state gets a say. Period. Otherwise F'em and let 'em file chapter 9

Anonymous said...

I think the city of Jackson and the State legislature / Gov. / Lt. Gov / Att. Gen'l all need to grow the "$%*@" up, and learn to work together, play nice, and get along.......but more importantly WORK TOGETHER!!! There is nothing that either is doing that truly looks like leadership!!! In the real business world, me thinks all would be fired!!!.......just as an example, I read the following article today:

Bond money to finish architectural / engineering plans to tear down trade mart, and then build another, possibly attached to the coliseum itself. That's all fine and good, but our State just blew a ton of money on redoing bathrooms that are inadequate in size, putting a place entry in that really does not work at all.....and all I can think of is the state needs to figure out how to increase capacity, and floor space (rodeo ring) and modernize the coliseum structure......and sure, connecting the trade mart venue to the coliseum makes a lot of sense, but in the same breath, efficiency would say that the state reaches a deal to send certain events to the convention complex, as it is already ready to hold events that the present trademark does not really accommodate very well, and then redefine what the trade mart space can truly be on the coliseum grounds........further, take the fence down and make it a facility that can be used and enjoyed to go to.........if they were actually to design a promotable venue, then we could even have full time fairground police!!!

in my eyes, neither are exhibiting leadership, and just another example of refusal to allow others to attain success

Anonymous said...

Giving the state control if they were paying would be one thing. That's not what is happening here. This is an immediate granting of control to the state with no corresponding promise from the state to pay for anything - now or ever. Only when and if the Legislature in the future appropriates funds. How likely do you think that is? This is bull sh$%.

Anonymous said...

Shades of SB2991 Kingfish.

Anonymous said...

The separate judicial district and police functions also will make this area of Jackson become a safer place to live and work - for anybody that wants to live in or traverse the area.

Will criminals receive stiffer penalities like SafeCity and Fillingane proposed in 2008?

SECTION 2. (1) The penalty for any felony or misdemeanor listed in subsection (2) of this section that is proved to have been committed in the Capital City Security and Economic Development Zone created in Section 1 of Senate Bill [this one], 2008 Regular Session, shall be subject to a fifty percent (50%) enhancement of the maximum penalties otherwise provided by law. Every person so convicted shall be sentenced to the maximum term of imprison prescribed in this section and such sentence shall not be reduced or suspended nor shall such person be eligible for parole or probation.

Anonymous said...

As a Jackson native and 40+ year resident of this district, this is fantastic. Almost too good to be true. Please save us from the corruption, crime and pathetic leadership of Jackson and pass this bill!

Anonymous said...

Directing a county court judge preside over crimes committed in this area is odd indeed.

Juries still have to be impanelled and they will come from Hinds County.

Interestingly County Court is where all eminent domain proceedings must be heard.

Wonder if that little fact played a role in the choice of a county court judge?

Could the state seek to remove state lands from Hinds County?

Some serious investigative journalist needs to sue to figure out the factual underpinnings for this leguslation.


Anonymous said...

This is exactly what needs to happen. Jackson is a sick, dying city that has no hope of survival in this new normal liberalized economy. Jackson should be thanking the Legislature, take its medicine and do ever it can do to recover. The cancer of liberalism and racist leadership has almost destroyed the entire city. Hope this passes and things are allowed to work for the good of the Capital.

Anonymous said...

Will Miss Prissy Keisha have a say in the disbursement of funds?

Anonymous said...

So how do you save Jackson without appropriating any funds to improve infrastructure?

The " party" that controls the state takes over local governments.

This is what the fascists and Nazis and Communists did!

You accept " party" control or else.

And, if y'all don't think those with this mind set will find ways to take over other communities if it will enhance their power and control and line their pockets, you are incredibly naïve!

This is how freedom is lost!

Anonymous said...

Something has to happen in Jackson. We already know the people in Jackson will not elect anyone who is not lining some pockets and is not a racist. Anything would be better than what we have now.

Anonymous said...

@10:37 You must be out of your mind. "Anything" would be better??? Put Kenny at Mayor -- no way! How about another Lumumba who wants to form a Kush that will have several counties and Jackson as Capitol of that Kush? It is Republic of New Africa by another name. Completing Chokwe's and Malcom X's vision.

Jackson citizens, of both predominant races, realize that Kenneth Stokes is a royal pain in the ___ and that he is racist. We also realize that many things you hear on the radio should not be allowed by the FCC they are so racist and untruthful giving us a bad name. We know that gangs and drugs are here and it makes us heartsick but I believe we have more good than bad and we accomplish more than we tear down and that somehow, someday, we will dilute the crazies who commit almost all the crime.

Anonymous said...

1:36, if there really is more good than bad how come the same crooks keep getting elected? Most of the good people left Jackson years ago. There may still be a few hanging on but they are the minority.

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In the spirit of helping those who are less fortunate, Trollfest '09 adopts a cause for which a portion of the proceeds and donations will be donated: Keeping Frank Melton in his home. The “Keep Frank Melton From Being Homeless” booth will sell chances for five dollars to pin the tail on the jackass. John Reeves has graciously volunteered to be the jackass for this honorable excursion into saving Frank's ass. What's an ass between two friends after all? If Mr. Reeves is unable to um, perform, Speaker Billy McCoy has also volunteered as when the word “jackass” was mentioned he immediately ran as fast as he could to sign up.

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This is definitely a Beaver production.

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There will be a hugging booth where in exchange for your young son, Frank Melton will give you a loooong hug. Trollfest will have a dunking booth where Muhammed the terrorist will curse you to Allah as you try to hit a target that will drop him into a vat of pig grease. However, in the true spirit of Separate But Equal, Don Imus and someone from NE Jackson will also sit in the dunking booth for an equal amount of time. Tom Head will give a reading for two hours on why he can't figure out who the hell he is. Cliff Cargill will give lessons with his .80 caliber desert eagle, using Frank Melton photos as targets. Tackleberry will be on hand for an autograph session. KIM Waaaaaade will be passing out free titles and deeds to crackhouses formerly owned by The Wood Street Players.

If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

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