Madison County official: Countywide tax could fund fire district - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Madison County official: Countywide tax could fund fire districts

MADISON COUNTY, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Some Madison County firefighters remain concerned that funding issues with the county could lead to the closure of the Lake Caroline fire station.

"Let me just reassure everybody that there's no jeopardy of that fire station closing down," said Madison County Administrator Tony Greer.

Last year, a state audit revealed Madison County had been charging residents 4 mills instead of the legal limit of 2 mills, with that difference going to increase fire protection in the South Madison Fire District.

County officials said they thought the decision was grandfathered in before referendums on mill increases were made mandatory.

"We'll be presenting to the board a plan to go back and retrieve some money that was escrowed last year by the previous administration, to be able to use to keep the fire district in operation through the remainder of this budget year," added Greer.

The fire district will be funded until September. Between now and then, Greer said they hope to come up with a new fire services agreement and countywide tax to help fund it.

He also made it clear that insurance rates will not go up.

"There should not be any change in fire ratings or anything along those lines. We're just looking at a more efficient way to fund the fire districts," said Greer..

The county overtaxed residents there at least $250,000, according to Greer.

The millage increase runs about $20 dollars per year on a $100,000 home. Greer said residents who wish to be refunded that money can contact the county and request one, but hopes most won't do that.

"For every dollar that's taken out of that in refund is a dollar taken out of the fire districts for fire protection or fire service," Greer said. "Even though it's out there for the public to take advantage of, certainly we're encouraging the fire districts to remain healthy financially."

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