Pontotoc County Commissioner Danny Davis was recently confronted by a Latta resident who was concerned about the way his tax money was — or wasn’t — being spent.
“He said he was paying $1,300 a year in property taxes, and he wanted to know why he couldn’t get his road black-topped,” Davis recalled.
Davis, who has represented District 2 for the past four years, said this not-so-isolated incident points out how misinformed most residents are about the tax structure within the county.
“When I’m out campaigning, the majority of the people I talk to think their property taxes go toward county roads and improvements,” said Davis, who will face Randy Floyd in a runoff election for his seat later this month. “But it all goes to schools, school bonds, the health department, and 12 percent goes to the county general fund to operate county offices.”
As recently as 2008, Pontotoc County earned hundreds of thousands of dollars in interest on property taxes. The banking crash and bailout four years ago sent interest rates into a tailspin, though, and, within only a couple of years, has almost turned the interest generated by property taxes into a non-factor in the county’s overall financial picture.