Thursday, September 06, 2007

Show Me the Money!

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!

Forthright

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Not 7.5 million is lost revenue, lost assessed value. Still a lot of money!

tencent said...

I'm going to veer away from the county story (not that it not interesting and certainly deserves public discussion)and I want to comment on something else I read in the paper tonight. Mayor Hudson's new health initiative. Are there that many people in Greenville that need to be told to get off of their duffs and walk? I see walkers and joggers all the time in my travels around town. Who is the mayor trying to point to with this initiative? My parents and their neighbors used to walk every evening for their health. Until the crime got too bad.
Marking walking paths in the streets is just as bad as putting signs on the people saying MUG ME, MUG ME! The plan would probably work in some neighborhoods, but not all. Nope. I think the mayor is just trying to add a shiny star to her list of political brouha.
And if the mayor is going to list meals from local eateries, I'd like to see the break down of calories, fats (saturated, unsaturated, transfats), carbs, sugars, sodium, fiber, cholesterol, vitamins. There are more people in Greenville that are subject to stroke and heart failure than those worrying about having their thick thighs show up at a social. Any meal posted by the mayor should be reviewed by a dietician for it's values.
Exercise should be a daily part of anyone's regime. But not set down by city workers spray painting streets.

Anonymous said...

This is to for the story and comment on the financial drop in revenue between the tax assessor and tax collector's offices. Maybe Mrs. Lee declined to comment after being directed by the state to do so since the investigation is really on their end. Just because some one declines to comment does not mean they are guilty of something. There are regulations when dealing with an investigation. Let's not be so quick to jump to conclusions. Obviously the woman hasn't done anything if they haven't fired her or arrested her. If that much money is missing and she is on payroll, then maybe it is not her fault that the drop in revenue has happened!

Anonymous said...

I consider myself a champion of innocent until proven guilty. When defending public officials, though I think you should also incorporate "looks like a duck, walks like a duck..." I feel sure that many more arrests will come out of this ever on-going investigation by the attorney general's office.