Mayor Diane Delaware said Yazoo City isn’t interested in collecting its own taxes, but it would be foolish not to be prepared to do so if necessary.
Delaware contacted The Herald after reading comments by Yazoo County Tax Collector Travis Crimm Jr. during the Board of Supervisors meeting last week. Crimm said he does not want to get in another situation where the city and county can’t reach an agreement until the last minute, and he will not sign an interlocal agreement that isn’t reached in plenty of time to meet the required deadlines.
“The city is making no effort whatsoever to collect its own taxes,” Delaware said.
Delaware said the city still hasn’t received a signed agreement from the county covering the existing arrangements between the two entities.
“We have done everything possible to get that agreement, and we too do not wish to go a long time debating these points this year,” Delaware said. “We have done everything that we know to do to get this agreement signed, and we still don’t have it.”
Delaware added that the city and county also previously agreed to work toward establishing long term agreements within 90 days, but that has not happened.
“We don’t want to get back into the situation we were in last year,” she said. “We have to be positive and proactive, and we have to understand that the collection of taxes is the foundation and core of the livelihood of a city.”
Delaware said purchasing the software required to collect taxes if necessary is simply a matter of being prepared so that the city would not be in a state of crisis it the city and county fail to reach future agreements.
“We have to be prepared to collect our taxes given the situation,” Delaware said. “We want the city clerk to know how to collect taxes whether he collects them or the county collects them. This is his job, and he should have a clear understanding of these procedures even if they are being outsourced. When he spoke to Travis Crimm, what he was trying to do was to learn about something that he needs to clearly understand.”
Delaware said she hopes the city and county will work together in a manner that benefits both entities.
“We are open to an agreement,” Delaware said. “We have no objection whatsoever, and we don’t want it to be implied that the city does not wish to enter a long term agreement with the county.”