"A popular government without popular information, or the means of acquiring it, is but a Prologue to a Farce or a Tragedy; or, perhaps both. Knowledge will forever govern ignorance; and a people who mean to be their own governors must arm themselves with the power knowledge gives."


Thursday, September 10, 2015

TVA-In Lieu-of-Tax for Jackson County Alabama and the Discretionary Fund Committee

Discretionary Fund Committee meets, maybe for the last time. TVA-in-lieu-of-tax issue not resolved, indecision harms local groups and agencies who depend on the funds to operate.

Clarion Article by Heather Garner 
The Jackson County Legislative Delegation Discretionary Fund Committee met last week for what could be the last time. Committee members Senator Steve Livingston, Representative Ritchie Whorton, Representative Tommy Hanes, Commission Chairman Matthew Hodges, Commissioner Jason Venable and Revenue Commissioner Jeff Arnold were all present for the meeting. Livingston began the meeting by announcing that the discretionary fund account balance was over $1 million and the Legislative Delegation office account was around $69,000. Read more at the Clarion link - http://www.theclarion.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=9507:discretionary-committee-meets-&catid=42:clarion-rotation-stories&Itemid=142

Former Jackson County Commissioner Horace Clemmons (photo by G. Morgan)

Former Jackson County Commissioner Horace Clemmons filed law suit against the delegation and members regarding the distribution of the funds.

"Clemmons responded to the new proposed bill and stated “While each bill the Delegation has proposed is better than the last, I still have problems with the latest one. My major concern is not with the bill itself, but the process that got us to the current bill. I have talked to several county and city elected officials and have yet to find one that was consulted. I believe the Delegation has a responsibility to determine what the other elected officials and the public want before passing a law that allocates our tax dollars. I also have an issue with the allocation of office expense and the County Commission Economic Development Fund. On the 2% office expense, I do not believe that it is legal for the Delegation to own a building that was paid for using tax money. I believe that we would all be better served if the County Commission provided office space and personnel for the Delegation. On the County Commission Economic Development Fund, I would only support that if it is clearly limited to support of local businesses. Large chains get plenty of (unneeded) support from State and Federal level. Local businesses are left out in the cold. Further it is worded so loosely that is could probably be used to fund a bond issue.”" Clarion link -  http://www.theclarion.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=9498:clemmons-responds-to-most-recent-tva-in-lieu-bill-&catid=42:clarion-rotation-stories&Itemid=142


SCOTTSBORO, Alabama -- State lawmakers from Jackson County have taken the unusual steps of incorporating as a nonprofit and buying an office building on the courthouse square in Scottsboro.  http://blog.al.com/wire/2013/02/jackson_county_lawmakers_passi.html

2011 "In the Boro" article regarding Alabama Attorney Generals Opinion: http://arklite.blogspot.com/2011/03/jackson-county-commission.html

TVA-in-lieu-of-tax Breakdown - http://www.theclarion.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=8373:tva-in-lieu-of-tax-breakdown&catid=42:clarion-rotation-stories&Itemid=142

Distribution of TVA-in-lieu-of-tax per Code of Alabama - http://codes.lp.findlaw.com/alcode/40/28/40-28-2

Uneducated, unwise decision making by elected officials - SB468, creation of secrecy: http://arklite.blogspot.com/2013/05/tva-in-lieu-of-tax-distribution-sb468.html

Current Bill before the legislature, SB2 - Action: 2015-09-08 - Read for the first time and referred to the House of Representatives committee on Local Legislation; Pending: House Local Legislation Committee ; Text: Latest bill text (Introduced) [PDF] 
link - https://legiscan.com/AL/bill/HB2/2015/X2

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