Exerpt from Delta Democrat Times:
A significant drop in the county's automobile tax roll assessment has many officials looking for answers. During the Washington County Board of Supervisors meeting Tuesday, county Tax Assessor John Greco presented members with the official September countywide tax roll. In his presentation, Greco reported a dramatic drop in the assessed value of automobiles - approximately $2.9 million - in two months.
“Obviously, there is something wrong here,” Greco told supervisors. In July, Greco submitted to the board a preliminary tax roll, by which the county set its fiscal budget. That report contained the assessments on real property, personal property, mobile home property, public utilities and automobile property. Of those properties, Greco is responsible for generating the figures for real, personal and mobile home properties, as well as county public utilities.
The tax collector's office is responsible for submitting to the assessor's office the figures pertaining to automobile property, after which Greco will compile those figures with the other assessments to create a total county assessment. A final tax roll assessment is then presented to the board in September. In July, the tax collector submitted an assessment figure of $55,531,296 for automobiles. For the September roll, the tax collector submitted an assessment figure of $52,583,174 - a difference of nearly $3 million in less than two months.
“How this happened, I just don't know,” Greco told the board. Washington County Tax Collector Patricia Lee told the Delta Democrat Times this morning that although she knew the reason behind the dramatic drop, she did not wish to comment on it further.
Since Lee took office in 2004, the county's assessed value for automobiles has dropped approximately $7.5 million from a value of $60,205,033 in 2004 to a value of $52,583,174, as of the September 2007 rolls. During the meeting Tuesday, board attorney Willie Griffin suggested that supervisors contact the Mississippi Tax Commission and ask for the agency to investigate the matter.
Surely there is no relationship between this "short-fall" and the previous indictments of four employees of the Tax Collector's office?
Let's see...we have lost $7.5 million dollars of tax revenue in the three years that Patricia Lee has been Tax Collector; Ms. Lee states that she knows the reason for the lack of funds...BUT... she does not wish to comment on it further...Duh?
Is this our idea of public accountability? We certainly wouldn't want to make Ms. Lee uncomfortable by asking her where the $7.5 million dollars went. Perhaps the state tax commission will be "less considerate" of Ms. Lee's feelings when they ask her to pony up for the missing revenue!
This is a prime example of why Greeville has become the laughing stock of the Delta. We elect incompetent, irresponsible stooges to manage the fiduciary affairs of our city, and then are simply aghast when they show their true colors.
So, now we have uncovered corruption and incompetence in our county government, health care system and public education systems! Unbelievable???
No, I believe in Greenville!