Pascagoula councilman wants law changed for property tax split - - The News for South Mississippi

Pascagoula councilman wants law changed for property tax split


By Patrice Clark – bio | email

PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) - Pascagoula Councilman Frank Corder plans to urge council members to back a resolution requiring property tax dollars from every new industry within any city limits in Jackson County to be split with all public school districts.  

The move comes after the Pascagoula School District lost a court battle over the right to keep millions of Chevron property tax dollars.  

"It is terrible public policy," Corder said. 

The policy change began two years ago when a state law changed, and  required property taxes from crude oil refinery expansions in the county be shared.  For 40 years, Chevron's tax dollars have gone solely to Pascagoula schools.

"It is up to us as city officials to protect our tax base," Corder said. 

Corder hopes to protect his city's schools by proposing another change to state law. He wants a law that would require every industry in every city share its tax revenue with the four school districts in Jackson County.

"There is the new gasification plant in Moss Point, and you can tap into the small businesses over there in Ocean Springs." 

Moss Point Mayor Aniece Liddell doesn't agree with Corder's plan. 

"What he is trying to do is change the way each individual city does its business," Liddell said. 

She believes the idea will only create bad policy in the future. 

"I don't think it will pass." 

Even if the Pascagoula City Council passes the resolution, a bill would still have to be passed by the state legislature. Corder said he's taking the first step and sending a message that Pascagoula is standing up for its schools. 

"If you are going to play this political ball game, then we should have the same consideration under this same statue," Corder said. 

We contacted Jackson County Schools Superintendent Dr. Barry Amacker about the resolution. He said, "I am not sure what impact legislation of that nature would have on the Jackson County School District. I am confident the pros and cons will be investigated and debated to the fullest extent."  

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