Cities and counties in Mississippi will be pushing the state legislature to enact a law that will allow for unpaid municipal fines to be deducted from an individual’s state tax returns, according to a published report.
The Mississippi Municipal League is still finalizing its agenda in advance of the state legislature beginning its next session today, but a local debt collection bill, which nearly passed last year, is at the top of the list, according to the report.
A bill was almost passed last year, but a “procedural move” on the last day of the legislative session moved the bill to the bottom of the docket and it was not voted on by the state Senate.
Shari Veazey, the executive director of the Mississippi Municipal League, said the cities want the law enacted because even the “smallest towns” in the state are owed hundreds of thousands of dollars in unpaid fines.
The state legislature should be motivated to pass a new bill because all local fines include a state assessment, which is deposited into the state’s general operating fund, according to the report.
“We estimate that the state would receive almost 50% of any unpaid fines collected by this proposed law,” Veazey said. “We realize that this law would not collect all of the outstanding fines, but we feel that collected revenue could be significant for our cities and for the state.”