Friday, November 27, 2015
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The Tunica Times • P.O. Box 308/986 Magnolia Street, Tunica, MS 38676

Postmaster cautions against unpaid mailbox usage

Tunica Postmaster Rebecca Smith has issued an appeal to all local political candidates cautioning them not to use mailboxes for non-postal distribution of campaign literature.

“Only items for which postage has been paid belong, and are authorized to be, in mailboxes,” says Smith.  “Using a mailbox to insert items for which postage has not been paid is a violation of the Private Express Statutes, and is therefore illegal.”

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Town expects quick ruling on contempt motion

Prospects for the Town of Tunica and the Tunica County School District to begin receiving gaming tax revenues again improved at a hearing yesterday in Tunica. Special judge Henry Lackey promised to make a quick ruling on a motion by the town to hold Tunica County in contempt of court.

The county was ordered on July 28, 2015 to “immediately resume compliance with House Bill 1002, which includes making all payments due to the Town and the School District as and when the county receives the monthly gaming revenue collections.”

In that order Judge Lackey had also denied a county motion for preliminary injunction but granted the town’s injunctive motion.

Judge Lackey opened Tuesday’s session with a recap of the case:

“This arises out of a matter where the Legislature passed an act [Editor’s note: House Bill 1022] whereby a certain percentage of gambling proceeds would go to the county,” Lackey explained, “and the town got a percentage and the Tunica County School District got a percentage also.

“The parties complied with this act approximately 20 years, but now the county supervisors have decided the act is unconstitutional, and they are withholding funds due to the town and the school district.”

Lackey continued, “In a prior hearing, the Board of Supervisors president testified about the funds due to the town and schools (being) in a special fund, so I have asked the Chancery Clerk (to attend) so the Court might be certain the funds have been set aside and will be properly held until the Supreme Court or the court of last resort determines those funds are the town’s and the school board’s.

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TA announces Royal Court for 2015

Queen LeEllen Perry (front, center) and her royal court invite the community to the presentation of the Tunica Academy Homecoming Court at 6:15 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 25.

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County budget highlights revenue priorities

Citizens and supervisors at last got a look at a paper copy of the county’s proposed Fiscal Year 2016 budget, when Deputy Chancery Clerk Luevenia Byrd and county administrator Michael Thompson handed out packets at the September 15 Board of Supervisors meeting.

The new budget projects total revenue of $33.69 million. About 30 percent of that total, or $10.36 million, will come from taxes on property owners. The total from taxes includes $3.3 million for debt service and $3.9 million for general government. The balance of tax revenue goes to special funds such as road maintenance, E911, homeland security, and fire protection.

The county is projecting that it will receive gaming taxes in the coming year totaling $18.9 million, or approximately 55 percent of total projected revenue. About 88 percent of revenues go into the general fund.

The FY16 budget includes a projected cash balance, or carry-over from the current year, of $800,000 in the general fund and about $2 million overall, bringing total projected revenues for FY16 up to $35.75 million.

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