Supes pay Canton for error

Supes pay Canton for error


Madison County supervisors voted on Monday to pay the city of Canton nearly $90,000 in ad valorem tax monies over-collected and kept by the Tax Collector’s Office over the last three years. 

Another outstanding balance of nearly $400,000 dating back to 2008 is past the three-year statute of limitations, but supervisors are looking to see if there’s a way to get the money back to the city. 

An error was discovered this summer after the county brought in a forensic auditor to look into the Tax Collector’s office to determine why the books weren’t balanced. It was quickly determined that money had been collected from Madison and Ridgeland ad valorem taxes that was not properly accounted for. 

The county has interlocal agreements with the municipalities to collect ad valorem taxes. The county receives 3 percent up to $75,000 and any overage goes back to the cities. The county had a similar agreement in place with Canton since 2008, but the overage was never paid. 

Board Attorney Mike Espy told supervisors that Lauderdale County has already asked for an Attorney General’s opinion because it’s facing similar circumstances with a school district. 

He recommended paying the last three years, which they legally could pay, and to wait on the opinion to determine if they could pay the outstanding amount going back to 2008. 

In total, the city is owed $483,371.97m according to Stephanie Smith, a forensic auditor with Ridgeland-based CPA firm Grantham Poole. The last three years total $88,882.02. 

Board President Gerald Steen, District 1 Supervisor Sheila Jones and District 2 Supervisor Trey Baxter voted to approve paying the $88,882.02. District 4 Supervisor Karl Banks voted no and District 5 Supervisor Paul Griffin abstained, saying they would rather see the city get the full amount. 

“If I had known those refunds had not been made I would have had them made,” Tax Collector Kay Pace told supervisors again on Monday. “I did not know they had not been made.”

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