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Miss. Dept. of Revenue Set to Move

By Jeffrey Hess | Published 17 May 2013 06:00am | comments
The people responsible for collecting Mississippi's taxes are moving to a new home. The move for the Department of Revenue ends a political fight over where the agency will be located.
The Department of Revenue  will be spending the next 20 years in the old Worldcom Building, now known as the South Pointe Center.
The Clinton-based facility will be a big upgrade over the current location which is basically a metal shed across from a landfill, says department spokeswoman Kathy Waterbury.
"So we are getting more space for each person. And of course the amenities of being in a building with windows and carpet on the floor and low ceilings and all that is a tremendous benefits for the focus that work in that open environment in the back. It is rather difficult," Waterbury said.
The lease is just under three-million dollars a year and will total roughly 50-million dollars over the life of the lease.
The agency will move next summer, which is a complicated task since state government relies on daily bank deposits from the Department to keep running. 
The move ends a political battle over where the agency should move. 
Senator David Blount of Jackson pushed a bill to buy a now vacant building in downtown Jackson and move the Department and other agencies there.
Blount says Mississippi currently rents 50-percent more space per employee than the federal government.
"I still believe that the state of Mississippi can save a lot of money in rent that we are paying in office space. And we do that by combining, consolidating and centralizing agencies under one roof in the state capitol. That will save the state money and it will provide better services to the citizens of the state when they come to Jackson to do their business," Blount said.
That plan met resistance from Speaker of the House Phillip Gunn who represents Clinton and wanted to keep the facility in his district.
Senator Blount says there is still a chance that the state could buy the building and move other agencies there.




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