By Lena Mitchell/NEMS Daily Journal
CORINTH – Voters in Tuesday’s special tax election denied Corinth officials the additional funds they sought to fix a variety of infrastructure problems.
Fewer than 20 percent of Corinth’s 9,074 eligible voters participated in the election. Unofficial totals that include absentee and curbside ballots showed 1,162 votes – 69 percent – against the measure and 515 in favor of it.
“This is what I wanted, for the people to decide,” said Mayor Tommy Irwin, who worked vigorously for several months to garner support for the program. “The problems still exist and I’m going to continue working hard to find solutions. The people spoke and I respect that. That’s why we had this election.”
The Future Fare program called for voters to approve an additional ad valorem tax of 12 mills per year for five years, raising $1 million per year for a total of $5 million. The tax applied to property taxes and car tags. The funds were to be placed in a separate, dedicated fund for capital improvements and infrastructure work such as street paving, drainage work, property cleanup and other projects.
The mayor and Board of Aldermen approved an ordinance in May calling for the special election, gave talks to many civic groups to garner support and held a communitywide forum last month to answer individual questions.
Tupelo voters have approved additional millage for what they call the Major Thoroughfare Program to fund street improvements, which is in its fourth five-year round of funding. They already have voted to approve a fifth round of funding for the program.
A similar measure voted on in Saltillo last week was defeated, with 66 percent of voters rejecting it.