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Supervisors discuss legislative agenda

Reported by: Wayne Hereford
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Updated: 10/29/2013 9:54 pm
TUPELO, Miss. (WTVA)-- Many north Mississippi board of supervisors met in Tupelo Tuesday to establish an agenda for the upcoming legislative session.

The meeting was sponsored by Three Rivers Planning and Development District and it's aimed at saving counties money. 

"It's key for the legislators to understand what are some of the important issues at the county level. What are some things that the counties are having trouble with," said Derrick Surrette, executive director of the Mississippi Board of Supervisors Association. 

Surrette adds that those things include transportation funding for counties, and funding for what he calls un-funded mandates handed down by state lawmakers.

"Which are basically laws that are passded down to us that are not funded. And, the county taxpayers have to pick those bills up," he continued.

Surrette says counties are having a harder time funding their county budgets as state and federal dollars appear to be shrinking.

He says that's one reason the association has fought such ideas as exempting businesses from paying county property taxes. He says that's one option that sould be left to the county.

"Because the county has to set the budget and the county knows it's business best," Surrette said.

There are other issues that supervisors would like to see addressed next year such as transportation and 9-1-1 funding.

"The bulk of the revenue for 9-1-1- comes from the land-line usage. And, nowadays people are transitioning from landlines to wireless. And, with the cellphones, the way the money is broken up, counties do not receive the majority of that money like they do a land line," said Steve Gray, director of governmental affairs for the Assocation of Supervisors. 

He adds that creates a situation where private businesses are getting a share of public dollars.

He says the state needs to also find a way to handle overcrowding at the Department of Corrections without asking counties to house more state inmates.
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