City leaders want dept. of revenue to stay in town - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

City leaders want dept. of revenue to stay in town

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CLINTON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Flanked by members of the city's board of aldermen Tuesday morning, Clinton Mayor Rosemary Aultman is trying to send a clear message to lawmakers.

"Quite frankly we're confident that South Pointe will be the best facility," said Aultman.

That facility, which sits along Interstate 20 in Clinton, is one of three places set to become the new home for the Mississippi Department of Revenue. Currently the department is housed in a warehouse on Springridge Road in Clinton.

When employees first moved in, it was a temporary location. That was almost two decades ago.

Complete with a full service cafeteria, gym and direct access to I-20, if the South Pointe building is selected, the DOR would take up five floors through a lease option.

House Speaker Philip Gunn, whose district the site falls in, is backing the move even though cost estimates aren't nailed down.

"I think the discussion of a cost is simply a red herring because those who advocate moving it somewhere else are certainly going to have to pay a higher cost as well," said Gunn.

One of those advocating to move to department somewhere else is Senator David Blount. He wants to put the DOR inside the Landmark Building in downtown Jackson, which is part of his district. Blount believes buying the building would be the most cost effective move with space to spare.

"We can consolidate other agencies besides the Department of Revenue in the building and we're going to save money that we're currently paying in rent elsewhere," said Blount.

A third proposal would move the department to the Diversified Technology Building in Ridgeland. Aultman says with what South Pointe has to offer, it's the most logical decision.

"There's not another facility in the area, whether it's in downtown Jackson, or in some other area that can touch this facility," said Aultman.

Prices estimates for a move to any of the potential sites vary which is one reason lawmakers aren't on the same page. The Department of Finance and Administration is currently working on proposals which should lay out the costs in the next couple of weeks.

Lawmakers will have to ultimately decide where the department goes this session. If no decision is made, it'll stay right where it is which most lawmakers are against.

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