Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Sales Tax Commission voted to bail out water/sewer fund in March.

The 1% Sales Tax Commission meets this afternoon.  JJ ran behind and is just now getting around to posting the video of the March meeting as well as the documents provided at that meeting. The Commission voted to spend nearly $7 million to shore up a depleted water and sewer fund.  

Mr. Miller said the water and sewer systems were facing "an immediate liquidity crisis." (Start at 6:30 in video)    He stated in a memo given to the Commissioners:

The memo is posted below.   The vote to transfer the funds was unanimous (Vote is at 35:30.).


Anonymous said...

Streets, drainage, grass cutting, etc. should be funded from tax money and such. Because it has no direct revenue source (unless it's a toll road).

Water and sewer has a direct revenue source. It should be run like a stand-alone business. It should be fully funded through the rate structure for said water and sewer. If done properly, it shouldn't need property tax revenue, sales tax revenue, etc.

Anonymous said...

How is this legal???

Anonymous said...

This may or may not be legal, but it is definitely NOT the original purpose of this "sales tax".

Anonymous said...

So there is a 1% sales tax is now being used to prop up the day to day expenses of the water and sewer dept? Is that what the 1% was for??

Anonymous said...

Is this the 1% sales tax that was passed to fund the convention center and was to be rescinded once it was completed?

Anonymous said...

A condition of this should have been that the city hand over management of the system to a third party that is insulated from political requests. It's ridiculous to have to bail out a system because, and only because, the managers and their bosses on the city council do not have the political will to make the department bill people and make them pay for the services.

Anonymous said...

The State Auditor hair dresser board members have to repaid misspend money and how is this any different??

Anonymous said...

Most water companies make money. People have to have it and can charge what ever you need to.

Anonymous said...

These funds have to spent be for long term capital improvements ,about a million dollars plus a project, found in a adopted 20 year plan. This does appear legal for making payday loans was not part of the legislation.

Anonymous said...

I think this maneuver is known as "straight piping."

Anonymous said...

Shame on you, Commission. This money should be used for future improvements SUCH AS PAVING STEETS and not for bailouts. Next thing you know the government will want to bailout banks and car makers. Oh wait.....

Once again, Main Street gets screwed

Anonymous said...

Why don’t they sue Siemens for the money? Weren’t they suppose to guarantee more revenue with new meters and billing system? If the revenues are down, why not lawyer up and go after them? Where is Saul Goodman when you need him?

Anonymous said...

4:57, need to have kinda clean hands before you sue someone. No one clean in the Siemens deal.

Anonymous said...

I would be worried if I was on this Commission that this could come back on me personally. The law creating this tax is clear in its intent.

Anonymous said...


While Siemens might (or might not) be responsible for problems with the new meters, they cannot be blamed for the deadbeat customers that refuse to pay their water/sewer bills because they think they are entitled to free city services. THAT is the biggest problem!

Anonymous said...

There could be a lot of liability for this commission. Recently, the CMU (Canton municipal utilities) board members were billed by the state auditors for misuse of funds.

Anonymous said...

Legality? What does that have to do with city business in Jacktown?

Anonymous said...

@5:54 - absolutely correct. And you can't blame siemens for all the straight-pipers out there also. Why is that every other town and city in the nation can bill water/sewer correctly and Jackson can't?

Anonymous said...

All Jackson is doing is making for a smooth ride home and shopping for Madison County. Let's gravel the road and leave it at that!

Anonymous said...

Legal? Don't see why not. The 1% dollars were to be spent on infrastructure - roads, streets, bridges, drainage, water, sewer - within the city of Jackson.

Good move? That's an opinion. But don't see anywhere that paying to repair the broken water pipes from the recent freeze, and the patching of the streets from where they were cut for the repairs, would not be legal.

Just like most everything else KF posts here, many people want to bitch and raise cain about crap they don't bother to look into for facts.

Of course, bitching anonymously is a whole lot more fun.

Anonymous said...

Earmarked tax money going to an unmarked ear?

Move on, no news here.

Anonymous said...

You presented no facts 7:34 AM, only opinion.

Anonymous said...

This is NOT infrastructure.

A. Inability to replace needed fleet equipment.

Unknown said...

Siemens is notorious nation wide for "bilking" governments, most of whom are larger and more sophisticated than Jackson.

No excuse, I agree, but also look at what the Wall Street Investment Bankers and Bond pimps have been up to as well.




Bottom line is that elected officials are being bought off for peanuts while the local governments and their citizens pay the piper.

Where is Teddy Roosevelt when we really need him!

Anonymous said...

The law calls for a plan to spend by with capital projects that are not daily operating expenses. Sure Siemens was a rip off but the right people got paid off so all is well. I would not be able to sleep nights if I was on that commission. I bet law for 1% sales tax gets removed next year.

Anonymous said...

The real takeaway is that the Jackson water dept is functionally insolvent.

Anonymous said...

Who's the guy praying in the beginning? That's awesome.

Anonymous said...

Let me say this again. Sales tax, property tax, etc. should be used for roads, drainage, etc. This is because those things don't have a direct revenue source (unless it is a toll road).

Water and sewer should be paid for from the rate base. The water/sewer rates should be set as such to fund the department and its needs. Just like a stand alone business.

Now if you are going to use the 1% sales tax for water and sewer infrastructure, shouldn't it at least go to actual infrastructure projects. Instead it is going to prop up the financials.

There are plenty of independent utilities. You have your for-profit utilities such as Entergy and Atmos. Then you have your member-owned utilities such as rural water associations and electric cooperatives. They all operate as independent businesses and derive their revenue from the rate base. A city should operate the water and sewer portion like an independent business.

Anonymous said...

Evidently there are many, or the same person several times, commenting here abut the legality of this action. Questioning the use of these dollars for water and sewer projects and continuing to the concept of propping up Financials and other cincepts.

Maybe that person or persons should actually read what was paid - it was for specific water and sewer repair projects, identified by location and dates. While the result might be to also 'prop up financials' the payments were for contracted costs to independent contractors for specific projects. Not just a 'transfer' of funds. And, the law allowing for the additional sales tax stated the dollars are to be used for "roads, bridges, drainage, water, and sewer improvements in the city. It appears to me that these wold definitely fit within that description. Maybe you don't like the action, and that'd ok. But to try to claim the use of these sales tax dollars was illegal is ridiculous.

Anonymous said...

Not only are they bailing out Jackson but Miller is proposing using some of the special tax proceeds to finance a bond issuance which will effectively reduce the value of the special tax collections since interest will have to be paid. Jackson's latest but not, as history is our guide, last debacle.

Anonymous said...

1226 - source please. Miller has not proposed, on fact has opposed, using 1% revenue as basis for bonds. Yarber certainly tried. Baby Chock has suggested it. But Miller has never proposed, at least from my watching and listening, borrowing against the sales tax dollars.

Anonymous said...

Page 7. So much for your "watching and listening".

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