Taxing authorities want to add to Madison annex

Taxing authorities want to add to Madison annex


Madison County’s Tax Assessor and Tax Collector made pleas to the Board of Supervisors on Monday to purchase land near the existing courthouse annex in Madison to construct a larger building to accommodate their growing needs. 

Tax Assessor Norman Cannady and Tax Collector C.J. Garavelli told supervisors that due to the county’s continued growth they need more room to operate in the southern end of the county. Their visit came after the board hired an architect last month to look into options from construction to leasing space. 

“I think we’ve been working on this probably 3-5 years,” Cannady said. “As the county grows, these offices need to grow. We need to plan and have vision with the county. In doing so, we’re going to need more office space.”

Cannady said the Madison annex is in a great place for taxpayers and there was available land that could be acquired and built on. 

“I think it’d be good to acquire that while it’s available,” he said. “It won’t be there forever.”

“We’re in a great location,” Garavelli echoed. “It’s best for our staff, the taxpayers. I think we all agree we need the space. I think where we are is the best spot for us to be.”

Board President Gerald Steen said the board agreed they need more office space and recently took action to look at options ranging from new construction to leasing office space. 

Cannady said it would be a “disservice to taxpayers” to move one of the offices to another building.

“Can we please work towards a solution over the next 30 days, moving forward with the acquisition of the land,” Cannady said. “It would be good to move forward with something.”

District 2 Supervisor Trey Baxter said there was opposition for nearby Madison homeowners for the county to expand at the current annex site and said it would be cheaper to find an existing space or to lease space. 

In June 2013, supervisors voted to abandon the original annex on U.S. Highway 51 in Ridgeland where CC's Coffee House is today to buy the Community Trust Bank building at 171 Cobblestone Drive in Madison saying it had more space and would better serve the county. 

The county spent $2.3 million on the building after abandoning proposals to build an annex estimated to cost between $2 to $3 million. 

Steen voted against the purchase at the time along with then-District 2 Supervisor Ronny Lott, who currently serves as Chancery Clerk. 

“We need to build a building that will satisfy the needs for the next 15-20 years instead of purchasing another building that does not fit our needs for that time period,” Steen said in 2013. 

Then-Tax Assessor Gerald Barber argued the Community Trust Bank building would be able to accommodate the growth for 15 to 20 years. 

The county has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars renovating, repairing, and upgrading the current annex.

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