Monday, April 17, 2017

State blessing or state takeover?

 Much ado has been made about the Capitol Complex Improvement District bill that was recently passed by the legislature.  Some have praised it as a major step forward for Jackson while some are shrieking hysterically that it is a state takeover of Jackson.  It's time to put the myths to rest.  JJ posted dissected the bill and posted its findings as well as a copy of the bill below. Read it for yourself and make up your own mind about what it all means.

Click on image to enlarge

Spending of the Funds

The bill opens up by stating what types of projects will qualify for district funding: streets, bridges, drainage systems, water and sewer lines, lighting, signals, parks, sidewalks, and other similar projects under the first section.



Boundaries of District

Section 2 of the bill spells out the boundaries of the Capitol City Improvement District.


Executive Director

The Executive Director of the Department of Finance and Administration appoints the administrator of the district under Section 3.  However, the Executive Director can assume that position if she chooses to do so.  There is no mandate that she hire someone to operate the district.  She can also hire additional staff to assist in managing the district.  The language does not give an actual title to this position so the term "administrator" will be used in this post.
Minority Business Participation

The bill contains language for minority participation in the bidding process when requests for proposals are issued. Section 4 states:

The Department of Finance and Administration shall make commercially reasonable efforts to place out for bid, such that Mississippi Contractors and Mississippi Disadvantaged Business Enterprises ("DBEs") shall have an equal opportunity to respond to such bid, any contract by the department which (a) is subject to tax pursuant to Section 27-65-21....
 However, there is no actual obligation for the district to direct business to minority contractors as exists in the city of Jackson. 

Master Plan

DFA must create a master plan of improvement projects for the district.  It will consult with the advisory committee but DFA has the sole authority for approving a master plan.   Section 5 provides the guidelines for the creation of the master plan.  Section 6 directs DFA to post the plan on its website and provide an "'annual status report of all projects funded" as well.

Capitol  Complex Improvement District Project Advisory Committee

Now we are getting into the real meat of this bill, the part that has so many people concerned.  The committee has nine members. The appointments are posted below.  The initial term is posted first and the subsequent term is posted second in the parenthesis.

Mayor: 1 member (Can be himself)
City Council: 1 member (1,4)
Jackson Public Works Director: 1 member
Governor: 2 members (2,4)(4,4)
Leftenant Governor: 1 member (4,4)
Speaker of the House: 1 member (2,4)
UMMC: 1 member (No term specified)
JSU: 1 member (No term specified)

Members must be residents of Jackson.  They also can not serve on the 1% Sales Tax Commission.  The Mayor and Interim Public Works Director currently serve on the commission.  Thus they would have to resign from the commission if they want to serve on the committee.  Members are not paid for serving on the committee. A simple majority (5) constitutes a quorum.

The committee has no binding authority upon either DFA or the city of Jackson. 

How will the money be spent? 

There are limits on what funds can be spent by the district under Section 8:

5%: administrative expenses
10%: pay Jackson for police and fire protection provided to the district.
85%: NOT LESS than this amount can be used for improvement projects.

Thus the district must spend at least 85% of its funds on improvement projects.  Those funds can be used as leverage or as matching funds for projects that are a part of the master plan. Money that is "left-over" at the end of the fiscal year DOES NOT return to the state general fund but remains with the district.

Major Events

Section 9 states that Jackson will provide police protection for major events conducted within the district.

Law Enforcement

DFA will have jurisdiction for enforcing laws under Section 10.  Subsection 6 is the one that matters:

(6) 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 Capitol Complex Improvement District created in Section 2 of this act. The Department of Finance and Administration shall, through any person  or persons appointed by the Department of Finance and Administration, make arrests for any violation of any law of the State of Mississippi which occurs within the boundaries of the district.  The jurisdiction of the Department of Finance and Administration under this subsection (6) shall be concurrent with the jurisdiction of the City of Jackson, Mississippi, and that of Hinds County, Mississippi.  The jurisdiction and authority of the Department of Finance and Administration under this subsection (6) shall be in addition to any other jurisdiction and authority provided to the department under this section or any other law.

 Funding for the District

How will the district be funded?  Section 11 answers that question.   The state will deposit a share of the sales tax it collects for the city of Jackson into the district's account.   The funding schedule is:

2%: August 15, 2018 to August 14, 2019
4%: August 15, 2019 to August 14, 2020
6%: August 15, 2020

There ya go.  That is it.  There is no "state takeover" as a couple of candidates and their supporters are alleging.  The state is not taking any sales tax money from Jackson but is instead diverting sales tax money that would go to the state for improvement projects in the district.  JPD and the Hinds County Sheriff's Office still retain their powers in the district but DFA can hire its own police force that will have the same powers as well.

Keep in mind that DFA is spending the state's money.  He who pays, plays.  Better yet, those who write the checks get to say how their money is spent and this bill is no exception.  Jackson loses no money.  Jackson loses no control. Jackson instead gets mo money spent on fixing its infrastructure.  Of course, some people are going to call a gift a curse regardless of who is doing the giving.  Turf means more to them than actually getting things done. It's part of the Mississippi Way. 


41 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting this in toto. Grateful for the police and fire departments receiving a percentage and it will help with the costs associated with serving state buildings. MOST would have also accomplished this, but this seems like a reasonable compromise, if the people serving on the new Commission are not prima donas but wish to see Jackson prosper. It would be really nice to be able to have some input to the Governor and to the Lt. Governor on these people.

PittPanther said...

Who is complaining about the Capital complex bill?

Anonymous said...

Anyone in Jackson complaining about this is biting the hand that feeds them. We should be grateful for the help.

Anonymous said...

Too bad it isn't a state takeover of Jackson. That's about the only way to fix the city.

Anonymous said...

The state cant pay the state bills... they stay in rainy day account..

Give An Inch... said...

Give them the vote. Then give them federal law that allows them to move into the neighborhood. Those two were deserved but it should have ended there. But, then they were given federal law that requires they be hired. Then protect their right to retain their employment and give them a leg up on the competition for jobs and education. Then give them the cities. Then give them the legislatures. Then give them all the government jobs. Then give them the purse strings to all the money. The request for more will never end, even when they have it all. Why the hell would it end?

When everybody was given the right to vote that was a good thing. When everybody was allowed to move about in housing opportunity, that was a good thing. The rest were acquiescence to blackmail and other threats.

Anonymous said...

Rumor has it Chokwe was at the Jackson Country Club easter egg hunt on Saturday. Wonder where he stands on this bill?

Anonymous said...

10:35, the City receives plenty for any services that they provide for police and fire. Ever noticed how many workers there are in those buildings that need this protection? Watch them eat lunch? See them at the gas stations on their way home - either to somewhere in Jackson or else driving to surrounding communities? The city receives plenty of benefits from all those state buildings - otherwise why would everytime there is a discussion about relocating a state agency every surrounding community if fighting for it.

The CCID bill is a good thing for the metropolitan area - without the saving of Jackson all suffer. And this will help in a small degree with the infrastructure. But it is needed not because of the state buildings that don't pay taxes - if that's your theory then lets go get the churches and hospitals to start pitching in as well. A lot more property is off the tax rolls due to those categories than due to being a state building. Granted, the hospitals bring jobs with them as well, and families that spend money while visiting patients in hospitals. But they are getting police and fire protection from the city so what do you propose they should be paying?

Anonymous said...

It is only a short drive @12:48 from his private gated street.

Antar and his crowd are the 'government takeover' criers. Antar's Puppet Master Brother Kali has used the term and associated fear of extensively.

Plain ol' Catfish said...

All B.S. aside - this is a win/win for the metro center.

The state is finally paying the city of Jackson for contributing to the wear and tear of Jackson's infrastructure.

Albeit it's sad that it took this long

But the main thing is - the city can now focus on improving Ridgewood Road, Northside Drive, Woodrow Wilson, Meadowbrook, State Street between Meadowbrook and Countyline Road, Hanging Moss, Livingston.

This is the golden ticket for the Metro area. This will make the city and state more attractive.

There aren't any more excuses after this. It's time to put up or shut up.

Anonymous said...

So in the World of Catfish Jackson gets a pass for all the failures up until now.

Anonymous said...

First item on the list needs to be Smith Park. The proposals are already done and the work is shovel ready.

Anonymous said...

Look behind the library at the behemoth buildings that the state is constructing. Downtown has become 10 square miles of government concrete (fed, state, county and city). Of course Jackson needs help with the infrastructure maintenance and providing services.

Plain ol' Catfish said...

@ April 17, 2017 at 1:31 PM

"So in the World of Catfish Jackson gets a pass for all the failures up until now."

Well in all honesty - whoever is elected to public office, is basically purchasing the home from the previous owner and it falls on them to make the necessary improvements while under their care.

I won't say Jackson gets a pass, but it's some much-needed relief and whoever the next mayor is, will have the opportunity to reallocate resources
without having to stress over on what is a higher priority.


Anonymous said...

This is great for Jackson. Some don't like it because there will be no patronage, no do nothing jobs and no contracts for the political cronies of the Jackson public officials.

Anonymous said...

2:45 nails it. Any so-called public official of the city or representing any part of the city that objects to this assistance that is being provided by the state to cover Jackson's decades of failure can only object because they can't control the dollars and they will actually be used to fix the infrastructure, not to provide jobs, triple bottom line benefits, contracts for cronies, mentoring, reelection campaign programs, or other ways to piss them away.

Anonymous said...

@1:13 pm, I have absolutely no objection to those who do not pay ad valorum taxes contributing to the police and fire. The hospitals require special fire equipment and the City of Jackson furnishes this. The hospitals that do not use Jackson Water definitely need to volunteerly pay an honorarium to the City for fire protection. 25 years ago only 35% of the property in Jackson was non-taxable. Today's figure is over 40% and growing.

One should look at Baton Rouge as to the cost savings of concentrating all State Buildings in the downtown area. Louisiana had allowed scattering of state offices and discovered benefits to the budget of returning to downtown.

Plain ol' Catfish said...

@ April 17, 2017 at 4:14 PM

"25 years ago only 35% of the property in Jackson was non-taxable. Today's figure is over 40% and growing."

Now I see why our car tags are at astronomical rates right now in Jackson. I was not aware of those figures - thank you for sharing

Anonymous said...

So, if the DFA cops pull me over for speeding or running a stop sign, does the fine I pay go to Jackson or to the state coffers? If the DFA cops actually arrest me, do they book me into jail, or do they call JPD for transport and booking? If I live or work in the area that they will now have jurisdiction in, does that mean I can call them directly or that Jackson 911 can dispatch them? 9 times out of 10, they would be able to respond more quickly than JPD to areas like Belhaven Heights.

Anonymous said...

The car tags are Mississippi's personal property tax. One can avoid paying much for vehicle tags by driving old vehicles, LOL. Personally, I prefer the tax man staying out of my home just on general individual rights. They come to businesses and count computers, desks, copy machines, etc.

Anonymous said...

we need to give this state back to the choctaw, and become one big indian reservation.

Anonymous said...

we need to give this state back to the choctaw, and become one big indian reservation.

PappyOdaniel said...

Well, here we go again. As soon as this is established an enormous bond will be floated on the back of the "improvement district ". At first glance this might be a good thing, as Jackson slips further toward insolvency the state governmental district will have a method to address the upkeep of the area around the Capitol...in reality, political donors make off with bond counsel cash right off the top and more debt on the taxpayers while revenue is taken from the coffers of Jackson

Anonymous said...



"There are limits on what funds can be spent by the district under Section 8:

5%: administrative expenses
10%: pay Jackson for police and fire protection provided to the district.
85%: NOT LESS than this amount can be used for improvement projects."the

KF-- the bill reads "may... at the discretion..." on the 10% for Jxn police and fire.

Kingfish said...

Antar and his crowd are the 'government takeover' criers. Antar's Puppet Master Brother Kali has used the term and associated fear of extensively.

Links or quotes?

Satisfying The SPLC said...

I question the need for a statement that the bid process will be crafted such that minorities will have an equal opportunity to bid. That's nothing more than cowtowing, inserting a bullshit parenthetical clause in hope of pleaseing a group of gripers and the entitled.

Is there the anticipation that there could be a process implemented that would create an unfair playing field for any group? If so, state it.

But, as long as we're going to have such bullshit included in the regs, should we not also include this: 'However, it is understood that any successful bidder will be expected to do quality work regardless of prior success in winning bid awards simply due to skin color'.

Here we go again....pretending that we might live in the fifties where job-opportunity sheets are posted only on the interior walls of white-only lodges and private clubs.

Anonymous said...

1:31pm Is it a " pass" on Jackson's past failures or a recognition of the State's past failures?




Anonymous said...

Why does the Capitol Improvement District include Fondren, Belhaven, and JSU ? 99% of the government buildings are located between High Street and Pearl Street (to the north and south) and I-55 and Gallatin (to the east and west). Seems like the district could/should have been much smaller.

Kingfish said...

Probably because it is covering UMMC although I don't know why they went so far out on Old Canton Road. It goes in the other direction too. A nice chunk of land was included in the path to JSU.

Anonymous said...

Guessing they were trying to capture the Venyu data center though thought that effort with UMMC was on the rocks and not moving forward.

Anonymous said...

Went out into Fondren, but skipped Woodland Hills (If I'm getting that right, but you know what I mean.) And why Mayes Lake, Lefluer's, and the Museums? Doesn't MDWFP have law enforcement? Capitol cops will be responsible for the city's comm center and the freaking Water Plant at the end of Riverside?

Also omitted is the defacto end of Downtown at Silas Brown/Jefferson.

Eastern boundaries couldn't have anything to do with twin lakes, one lake, whatever they're calling it now, could it?

Anonymous said...

Does this mean we need to revise the 1% Infrastructure tax master plan to exclude the Capitol Improvement District? It would surely benefit the whole city to have the 1% available totally outside the CID.

Anonymous said...

QUESTION: Not exactly on this topic but included in the CID. Was Graymont resurfaced by the City or by the County? Clarion-Ledger article did not mention. Was it the end from Fortification southward, or was it the end going northward?

Anonymous said...

Saw that Donner and her kiddies want to spend 1% sale tax dollars on sidewalks. No joke. Hey Yarber, forget the surface sewage problem just give 'em some sidewalks.

Anonymous said...

1017. Depends on which part of Greymont you are referring.

Greymont from Fortification to Pinehurst was reaped by contractor using 1% dollars. Greymont between Coliseum and old Ramada was reaped by city using city crews.

Anonymous said...

I get everything in that map and why itis in the capitol district except for that triangle at the top bordered by Meadowbrook. What presence does the state have in that area?

Or what elected official from Jackson required this in order to support the bill? Curious who lives in that triangle.

Anonymous said...

District lines were drawn largely to gain support of BC in legislature, including that area north of Fondren and south to JSU. Dem proposal in the Senate was to include all of Jackson without any lines. In conference the northern district line and the western line was expanded.

Anonymous said...

The eastern boundary was drawn with the "McGowan Boondoggle" in mind. No doubt about that. Good move, legislature.

Anonymous said...

UMMC has contemplated using the Old McRae's Meadowbrook as a telehealth center, which may explain why that area was included in the district.

Anonymous said...

12:55

Is that the standard for application of these funds?

What presence does the state have?

How about state tax credits to a gazillion dollar low income project behind the stadium which, when all 2000 of the new toilets were linked up, caused the 150 year sewer system to collapse on West street? Today the city is out there spraying shit off the road.....I shit you not.

Anonymous said...


Consider all the idiots who think the total greenhorn BabyChok Antar can fix this.

City infrastructure is now in a state of real time collapse city-wide. It is an emergency but no governmental entity will do a thing until control is ceded away by Jackson.

It ONLY gets worse from here. Jackson can't get the job done. Can't.

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Trollfest '09

Trollfest '07 was such a success that Jackson Jambalaya will once again host Trollfest '09. Catch this great event which will leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Othor Cain and his band, The Black Power Structure headline the night while Sonjay Poontang returns for an encore performance. Former Frank Melton bodyguard Marcus Wright makes his premier appearance at Trollfest singing "I'm a Sweet Transvestite" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Kamikaze will sing his new hit, “How I sold out to da Man.” Robbie Bell again performs: “Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Bells” and “Any friend of Ed Peters is a friend of mine”. After the show, Ms. Bell will autograph copies of her mug shot photos. In a salute to “Dancing with the Stars”, Ms. Bell and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith will dance the Wango Tango.

Wrestling returns, except this time it will be a Battle Royal with Othor Cain, Ben Allen, Kim Wade, Haley Fisackerly, Alan Lange, and “Big Cat” Donna Ladd all in the ring at the same time. The Battle Royal will be in a steel cage, no time limit, no referee, and the losers must leave town. Marshand Crisler will be the honorary referee (as it gives him a title without actually having to do anything).


Meet KIM Waaaaaade at the Entergy Tent. For five pesos, Kim will sell you a chance to win a deed to a crack house on Ridgeway Street stuffed in the Howard Industries pinata. Don't worry if the pinata is beaten to shreds, as Mr. Wade has Jose, Emmanuel, and Carlos, all illegal immigrants, available as replacements for the it. Upon leaving the Entergy tent, fig leaves will be available in case Entergy literally takes everything you have as part of its Trollfest ticket price adjustment charge.

Donna Ladd of The Jackson Free Press will give several classes on learning how to write. Smearing, writing without factchecking, and reporting only one side of a story will be covered. A donation to pay their taxes will be accepted and she will be signing copies of their former federal tax liens. Ms. Ladd will give a dramatic reading of her two award-winning essays (They received The Jackson Free Press "Best Of" awards.) "Why everything is always about me" and "Why I cover murders better than anyone else in Jackson".

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.


In order to help clean up the legal profession, Adam Kilgore of the Mississippi Bar will be giving away free, round-trip plane tickets to the North Pole where they keep their bar complaint forms (which are NOT available online). If you don't want to go to the North Pole, you can enjoy Brant Brantley's (of the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance) free guided tours of the quicksand field over by High Street where all complaints against judges disappear. If for some reason you are unable to control yourself, never fear; Judge Houston Patton will operate his jail where no lawyers are needed or allowed as you just sit there for minutes... hours.... months...years until he decides he is tired of you sitting in his jail. Do not think Judge Patton is a bad judge however as he plans to serve free Mad Dog 20/20 to all inmates.

Trollfest '09 is a pet-friendly event as well. Feel free to bring your dog with you and do not worry if your pet gets hungry, as employees of the Jackson Zoo will be on hand to provide some of their animals as food when it gets to be feeding time for your little loved one.

Relax at the Fox News Tent. Since there are only three blonde reporters in Jackson (being blonde is a requirement for working at Fox News), Megan and Kathryn from WAPT and Wendy from WLBT will be on loan to Fox. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both and a torn-up Obama yard sign will entitle you to free drinks served by Megan, Wendy, and Kathryn. Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required. Just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '09 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.


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Jackson Jambalaya is the home of Trollfest '07. Catch this great event which promises to leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Sonjay Poontang and his band headline the night with a special steel cage, no time limit "loser must leave town" bout between Alan Lange and "Big Cat"Donna Ladd following afterwards. Kamikaze will perform his new song F*** Bush, he's still a _____. Did I mention there was no referee? Dr. Heddy Matthias and Lori Gregory will face off in the undercard dueling with dangling participles and other um, devices. Robbie Bell will perform Her two latest songs: My Best Friends are in the Media and Mama's, Don't Let Your Babies Grow up to be George Bell. Sid Salter of The Clarion-Ledger will host "Pin the Tail on the Trial Lawyer", sponsored by State Farm.

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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