Why Hancock County Can’t Afford Nice Things Part 2: Back Room Deals, Lack of Sunshine

Reader Submitted Photo of Front Gate of the Bay Waveland Yacht Club
Reader Submitted Photo of Front Gate of the Bay Waveland Yacht Club

It is safe to say the Yacht Club’s tax exemption has reverberated around the county a time or two so now it’s time we put everything together and illustrate both how the process under which tax exemption was given is fatally flawed, lacking any semblance of transparency and what the elected officials can do to fix it.

There has been lots of information posted already and then Geoff Belcher’s article for the Sea Coast Echo proved as an invaluable resource because the players behind the events made on the record comments. First things is to emphasize the update to the first post because we did get a fact wrong and the correct facts need to be emphasized:

Slabbed has been contacted by the Department of Revenue in response to communications from Jimmie Ladner’s office. Jeff Foreman of MDOR indicated this this type of tax exemption does not require MDOR approval:

As I understand from ……. below, the Bay Waveland Yacht Club is claiming exemption as a “perpetual or fraternal and benevolent organization”. As you have already established in this thread, such an exemption is clearly authorized under Miss. Code Ann. Section 27-31-1(d). Under current Mississippi law, case law and guidance from the Mississippi Attorney General, the duty to determine eligibility for such an exemption lies solely with the county. The Department of Revenue plays no role in the approval of such exemptions and, as such, there is no requirement for any information regarding such exemptions to be filed with the Department.

The takeaway from Mr. Foreman’s very important clarification needs highlighting because it drives the inescapable logic that follows:

Under current Mississippi law, case law and guidance from the Mississippi Attorney General, the duty to determine eligibility for such an exemption lies solely with the county.

Mr. Foreman’s word are precise and he didn’t say the duty to determine eligibility for such an exemption lies solely with the tax assessor/collector, rather he was referencing the County Board of Supervisors and the Tax Collector. Lana Noonan of the Hancock County Alliance for Good Government asked the follow-up question to confirm with Mr. Foreman his very precise remarks. This is what he said:

Ms. Noonan,

“County” is not expressly defined under MCA §27-31-1. However, under MCA §27-35-113, the tax assessor and board of supervisors are vested with the absolute authority to investigate and determine the assessed valuations of individual parcels of property located in their particular county in a manner consistent with the laws of this state. As such, it has been my limited experience that claims for exemption are made with and determined by the county tax assessors. If approved, the matter would be subsequently approved by the board of supervisors upon their approval of the county’s tax rolls. If denied by the assessor’s office, the claimant may formally protest to the board of supervisors. A denial by the board could be appealed in circuit court.

Mr. Foreman is not an expert in Mississippi County Governance but what he is describing is a system where the exemptions are presented to the Supervisors with the County tax rolls. If a property is completely removed from the rolls it wouldn’t show up on the tax rolls for the County Sups to approve so there could not be an actual approval in that circumstance. On the other hand if the exemptions are clearly shown on tax rolls the Supervisors have no excuse to claim ignorance of the exemptions the tax collector is giving out. Here is the process for getting an exemption per Jimmie Ladner:

You also inquired as to whether my office has a form that is required to be filled out to receive such exemption. The answer is no. Exemptions are typically requested by the entity either verbally or in writing. My office then reviews the request to make the determination as to whether tax exempt qualifications are met. In this particular case, the BWYC Commodore called my office to discuss the tax exemption. We discussed the exemption and he later sent a letter on BWYC’s letterhead that included the required documents needed to confirm qualification requirements. At this point, the property obtained exemption status which remains on the books today. I stand by my position that the BWYC qualifies and appropriately receives the tax exemption.

This is what Ladner told the Echo:

Hancock County Tax Collector-Assessor Jimmie Ladner said Friday that he’s been blasted, as well, and unfairly so.

“The truth of the matter is that when I first took office in 2000, the then-leadership of the yacht club came to me and asked for an exemption. They didn’t quality at that time. They asked me what it would take to qualify for an exemption. Several sets of leadership have asked the same thing over the years.

“In 2015, new leadership came in and they made changes to the charger. They now qualify. The law doesn’t give me the option (to say no) at that time. It says these properties ‘shall be exempt from taxation.’

“The only definition I’m accepting is what the law says ant eh accepted practice of the secretary of state’s office. They filed their paperwork in 2015. … It is not an exemption that may be given or may not be given. It’s not an issue for the board of supervisors. There was no ‘back-door meeting’ and that’s offensive and it never happened.”

Slabbed has checked the Supervisor minutes and agendas from September 2015 to December 2016 and the Yacht Club’s tax exemption does not appear one time. It’s public money Jimmie Ladner is giving away, out of the back door, in meetings to which there is no public involvement. I wonder, if the public had been aware of the Yacht Club’s tax exemption real time instead of years after the fact, whether or not it would have been granted. Given the firestorm of criticism that ensued after Slabbed broke the tax exemption I suspect not. With the public excluded it was very easy for the tax collector to ship $19,000/year out the back door. If Mr. Ladner can’t understand why he is now catching hell my mind is open to the possibility he’s been office a term or two too long.

Not all counties do it the way Mr. Foreman suggested however because some county Board of Supervisors choose not to forfeit so much power to the tax collector. Here are board minutes from January of this year of the Hinds County Board of Supervisors where the Supervisors specifically approved a tax reduction and in lieu agreement (pdf page 5 under Board Attorney)

We also have the Chevron case from Jackson County, again involving an in lieu agreement where the facts indicate the Pascagoula School District dealt with both the Supervisors and Tax Collector on a school property tax assessment. There are many such examples that can be found with a very simple google search.

At the end of the day the most damning evidence isn’t the lack of transparency, rather it is the failure to follow a very clear law because being fraternal and benevolent is not the determinative factor, rather it is whether the subject property is being used by the non profit to “profit”. Again here is what the statute says:

All property, real or personal, owned and occupied by a fraternal and benevolent organization, when used by such organization, and from which no rentals or other profits accrue to the organization, but any part rented or from which revenue is received shall be taxed.

I’ve personally been to the Yacht Club several times that had non club events held there, here is what the club says:

Facilities Rental
Overlooking the Bay of St. Louis, the Bay-Waveland Yacht Club offers the best views on the coast for your private event. Our creative, caring, and professional staff can help you plan a special party or meeting that will provide memories to last a lifetime. Our facilities and grounds offer many spaces that can be used as a part of your event.

Although, we are a private club and the facilities are not available for hire to the general public, club members may host events for non-members. Please contact the office at (228) 467-4592 or email us at [email protected]

And then there is the last 990 filed which the IRS which shows the club made six figures on its food and beverage service.

Tomorrow morning’s Supervisor meeting promises to be good since indications are this issue will not be fading away anytime soon. Meantime folks, taxes are going up in Bay St Louis……for some people anyway.

Stay tuned.

139 thoughts on “Why Hancock County Can’t Afford Nice Things Part 2: Back Room Deals, Lack of Sunshine”

    1. Seems ANY property owner could go tax exempt by creating the right kind of entity, transferring their property to the entity, filing the proper docs, and requesting the exemption.

      1. Correct Paul. I’ll be having more on the exemption because Paul Hampton snagged the key quote. The “optics” are bad for a good reason.

  1. The library gets cut that is part of the Hancock County that everyone can enjoy, our children get reading time, yet the private club get tax exempt. The BWYC should be ashamed of themselves for taking such an advantage of the government when they are “for profit” or the doors would be closed.
    Thank You Mr. Ladner and the Board of Supervisors for making sure our tax dollars are being collected from the proper entities.
    I still would like to see an entire list for Hancock County of Tax Exempt properties AND the owners.

  2. For what it is worth, if the Yacht Club is charging for food and bev and allowing free use of the space(s), such as a hotel often does with its conference/meeting/ball rooms, it could reasonably claim that it is not to be “renting” anything to anyone. As to it being otherwise exempt from property tax, here is what appears to be the current § 27-31-1 (d), regarding “fraternal and benevolent organizations:”

    “All property, real or personal, owned and occupied by a fraternal and benevolent organization, when used by such organization, and from which no rentals or other profits accrue to the organization, but any part rented or from which revenue is received shall be taxed.”

    As to the club’s tax exempt status, it is either entitled to it or it isn’t. That might sound simplistic, but it simply means that the opinions of “the public” or bystanders may be thoughtful and reasonable, but they simply do not matter as to the legality of it. In other words, reasonable minds on a jury might differ about whether or not a person is guilty of fraud, but with something like this, the statutes control and if the club meets the requirements, it is entitled to exemption regardless of public opinion that it should not be, and if it does not, it isn’t entitled to it even if “the public” thought it should be.

    1. Under the food and beverage scenario you lay out such is true, the character of the income would not be rental income but the statute is more encompassing with the phrases”no rentals or other profits accrue” and “but any part rented or from which revenue is received“. Under the scenerio you lined out the building still would not be eligible for an exemption under § 27-31-1 (d)

      For what its worth I did several queries on Fastcase on the exemptions statute and there is very little case law. What I did find is interesting albeit just tangentially related.

      3545 Mitchell Road, LLC v Board of Supervisors (2009-CT-00292-SCT) involved MCA § 27-35-50(4)(d)(i) which provides some tax relief for affordable housing provided the paperwork is completed. Buried towards the back of the opinion in paragraph 29 the court included some interesting language:

      The Legislature has the sole authority to create tax exemptions, not this Court. Miss. Const. art. 4, §112. Any disagreements with the Legislature’s directives on tax exemptions “are best aimed toward the Legislature.” Buckel v. Chaney, 47 So. 3d 148, 159-160 (Miss. 2010) (citing Miss. State Univ. v. People for Ethical Treatment of Animals, 992 So. 2d 595, 610 (Miss. 2008)) (citations omitted).

      Based on that (and the preceding paragraph where MSSC took the appeals court to the woodshed for ignoring what they evidently thought was very clear case law) it appears Mississippi’s courts are required to keep to the 4 corners of the statutes on tax exemptions and that they are not open to interpretation, either by a lower court or the tax assessor for that matter. There is no ambiguity in § 27-31-1 (d).

      When the entire community can read a law like § 27-31-1 (d) and sees it clearly does not apply how the tax assessor is applying it, the phrase, “someone is peeing on my leg and telling me its raining” immediately comes to mind.

      This matter has been referred to the investigative division of the office of the state auditor. Mr. Ladner can have his adult conversation with them.

      1. A couple of points: in my scenario, there would be no revenues and no profits deriving from the property, and if fact, the argument that the property actually sustained a loss could be made, and certainly so over the course of time in the form of depreciation, wear and tear, facility services and utilities, etc. Second, a precise definition of “fraternal and benevolent” is not settled under Mississippi case law, much less well-settled. While the Mississippi appellate courts generally consider federal case law persuasive under certain circumstances, the courts taking IRS rules as such isn’t something to count upon. And in fairness, if modern “lodges” qualify, it is at least reasonably justiciable that other private social organizations that do some amount of community/charitable service should also qualify.

        I would caution comparing case law involving low-income/Section 8 apartments to truly non-profit clubs. If nothing else, the entire reason most apartment complexes exists is that an owner (individual or corp) expects someone to pay “rent” (even if the rent paid by the renter is a fraction of the total received for the unit with the rest from subsidies).

        I’d suggest that while the board may have been justified in asking for an exemption if social lodge-type organizations in Hancock County receive them, as it as turned out, it may not have been the best course from a perception standpoint, especially considering the amount of money involved and the purpose and membership of the club. But that would not mean either the club or the Tax assessor acted improperly or illegally. I still haven’t seen an answer to the question of how the savings was addressed by the club.

        1. If you are using the property as a restaurant and bar, Food Service operations certainly generates Revenues and it especially better generate profits from those revenues, all of which is directly related to how the property is being used. Worth noting the statute is the predicated on how the property is used and the mere fact it generates “revenues” (not to mention profits) “…received shall be taxed.”

          The club rents its slips its members, that is rent. The majority of the second floor is kitchen, dining and a bar. Its facilities are available for rent. It’s not even close.

          All this exemption, complete with the Diamondhead Country Club being classified as a Golf Fairway (exempt) is a matter of public interest. Becky Mowbray gave everyone the template back in the day. Hancock County’s tax rolls will be very fertile ground for examination.

          1. The Statute does not make mention of other sources of revenue – just rent. Many “lodges” sell liquor and food, so the club selling liquor and food would not be determinative as to its property tax exemption. As to the slips, are you sure that the slips are “on property” (in water) owned and potentially taxable to the club but the club has obtained an exemption to which it is not entitled?

            Look, if the club is not entitled to the exemption it has obtained, then it should lose it and pay whatever tax it did not pay, along with any penalties that might attach. On the other hand, if it is entitled to the exemption and doesn’t care how it looks, the only legally relevant thing is that it is entitled to it. It might not be what many would do nor win it friends in the general non-member public, but it would be legal. The problem here, thus far, is that there has been no _evidence_ that the club is not entitled to the exemption, or, that if it not entitled to it, that the board which obtained it did not act in a good faith belief they were entitled to it.

            1. The statute uses broad encompassing terms like Revenue and Profits. The clue that it is not just speaking to rents is the use of the word “or” between “Rentals” “Other Profits” and between “rented” “from which revenue is received”. The terms used here are very precise financial terms Nun and it clearly speaks to more than just collecting rent.

              As I mentioned previously the Krewe of Nerieds (501c7) Float Den is tax exempt under this statute and rightfully so as the Krewe makes no money from the building and that remains true even though the Krewe rents its floats out on occasion.

              Country clubs and the like, I’m not seeing it. One way to get around the law would be to set the membership dues high enough to cover the costs of occupancy but that setup would create its own set of problems.

              1. In the case of the Yacht Club, the “or” would be meaningless in the “free use if you buy food and beverage” example because the revenue derived is from food and bev, not the property itself. It may or may not also be meaningless in actual terms. If a “fraternal and benevolent organization” receives nothing of value, be it rent or a share of crops/timber, a herd of goats or a cow, etc., (and which it then sells) in exchange for allowing the use of its potentially taxable property, that land likely qualifies for an exemption. You may be reading it to mean that if they, A) receive rent, or, B) make a profit (from any source), they cannot own tax-exempt property. Re-read the statute from the very first word(s). I’m not telling anyone how it should be read or how the courts will read it, I’m merely offering that reading it carefully might suggest a different meaning than a quick scanning of it. Or it might not.

                Here’s some questions: Should or would a church property (the site of the church and its related buildings) lose its exemption if it accepted a donation of money from someone in a structure (or on the grounds) upon that property? And if one thinks it should not, why not? Why is it not “profit?”

                Here’s another scenario: Popeye the Sailor donates his spinach farm adjacent to the club to the club, which harvests and sells the next crop and then, rather than replant, builds “Yacht Club Swankavista Apartments,” which they rent to members at one price or friends of members (but only if the member vouch for them) at a higher price. I’d suggest that the apartment property would not qualify for exemption, but it would and should not affect the original club property. For a “mind test” of the above, think of two modifications: First, reverse it – suppose the club turned it into a public park and remodeled Popeye’s farm house into a nice public meeting space, which it then allowed the free use of on a first come, first serve basis and in which users were welcome to bring their own food and drinks. Would anyone suggest that such a parcel should be denied tax exempt status, even if the rest of the club’s property did not qualify? Now, suppose it was the church that received the farm and built the apartments as a revenue source for the parish. Should the property where the church itself is located lose its exemption because the church now owned property from which it received revenue/”profit”?

              2. Doug,
                In this case it is ~$50 a year per member. That is just another story really.

                Expectations/Perceptions Of entitlement for things everyone is expected to do.

  3. Just a little update on the Board of Supervisors’ meeting today. Three and one half hours long.
    Public Comments are last on the Agenda, so we waited it out.
    The Hancock County Alliance for Good Government presented a resolution to the Board for them to pass to request a monthly report from the Tax Collector’s Office on tax exemptions that were requested during the month. This was to have the Board become more engaged in the process, and give the public some transparency as to whom exemptions are being awarded.
    They wouldn’t do it because Jimmie said that he would not relinquish his authority to award these exemptions to the Board.
    But the Board all approved the Yacht Club deal for a permanent exemption when they approved the tax rolls in July of 2016 according to Jimmie. Now Blaine said to me in an email on Aug. 17, that the Board knew nothing about the Yacht Club exemption. But when they function as a rubber stamp committee to the Tax Office, they don’t really know what they are approving, and apparently don’t care, because it looks like they don’t even read through it.
    Jimmie did say he wouldn’t mind sitting down and having a conversation about this, but we have been so uncivil, he just feels uncomfortable.
    Jimmie explained to Alliance member, Ron Thorp, that he is granting the exemption to the Yacht Club because it is no different from Our Lady of the Gulf renting their Parish Community Center for activities.
    I would respectfully disagree with that, until Father O’Connor starts hanging signs on the church property that say, “members only” “no trespassing” and the bulletin publishes a set fee to be able to attend Mass there. Unbelievable.
    Stay tuned

    1. Ladner compared the Yacht club to a church? While both can be found in 27-31-1(d) Churches, unlike Yacht Club enjoy a broad exemption, here is the language:

      All property, real or personal, belonging to any religious society, or ecclesiastical body, or any congregation thereof, or to any charitable society, or to any historical or patriotic association or society, or to any garden or pilgrimage club or association and used exclusively for such society or association and not for profit; not exceeding, however, the amount of land which such association or society may own as provided in Section 79-11-33.

      That Ladner would conflate the two is revealing. I suspected there would be some fear mongering among the nonprofit community. A politician fear mongers. You’d think a tax assessor would know the difference between the two types of entities under the statutes that are the charge of the office.

      1. Again, folks might be careful forming opinions based upon what one person says another person said to yet another person. I am not suggesting that any are not telling the truth or even not stating what they truly believe was said, but the uncertain nature of it is why it is considered hearsay in legal terms.

        That said, I would offer that a church renting a hall isn’t as legally different as some might assume, even if the public perception is very different. Moreover, if the club is selling food and beverages and giving the use of the facility free of rental charges (I have no idea if that is the case with the Yacht Club) but the church is charging rental with no food and beverage purchases, the club isn’t receiving monies for the same thing as the church.

          1. Why post hearsay in situations that turn strictly on evidence? And if you have actual evidence, including documents, why hasn’t it been posted rather than merely alluded-to?

  4. Y’all were addressing the wrong guy’s. Should have asked meal man Mickey for the resolution. He feeds them daylie till he gets his way. Or Eddie or Tim, they lead the supervisors around like goat’s on a rope. It’s a pitiful bunch of arrogant pompas azz holes. Self gain, hunting trips, free meals, free trips and dirt jobs is all they care about. Trust me I know. Not to mention they probably getting assessment breaks too.

    1. Coffee conversation overheard this a.m. “Bay Mayor to give uncertified still City Clerk, PW Dir. large raises while others like Police & Fire get none. Others .50 pennies. Plus we will get another 2 mil bump.” I’m starting to doubt my Councilman and new Mayor again cause I see no progress in Ward 1 planned still .

      1. Cedar, Where were you when police and fire got raises and no one else did.
        You sound like a few others that dislike these 2 people.
        A past councilman and current councilman.
        Beth, Talk about being led around like a goat on a rope.
        He attached her and the administration in tonight’s workshop.
        Accusing them of hiding money.
        Simply because he doesn’t understand. Later apologized but too late.
        This and wanting to cut benefits to employees.
        Lost my vote.
        Will bring all his anti ward 6 comments out against him in next election.
        Along with cuts to employees.
        Start with cutting your own insurance if you really believe in cutting something.
        If I wanted Lonnie in there I would have voted for him.
        Didn’t and will not vote for the goat leader.
        It’s a shame he’s got to the goat rope on him. Leave it at that.
        Lonnie wanted the paving on a right away done next to the parking lot and look who he turned to.
        No other than the goat.
        And who owns the parking lot?
        None other than Moseley.
        When did the city start paving right aways.
        Don’t want to pave dirt roads but gets right away done for the goat leader.
        Lonnie wanted a sweeper and guess who pushed it through.
        You got it.
        The goat.
        Goat leader wants a suck truck and need I ask who else is pushing this.
        You got it.
        The goat.
        Thanks Josh for standing up with Ice and trying to make ward 6 and the entire city better.
        And than wants the citizens to vote for a 2 mill increase.
        That’s why you are elected.
        Grow a pair 🎱🎱 and be your own man. Accept you responsibilities.
        You really believe someone in pecan park would vote for dirt roads in our neighborhood to be paved.
        Cedar, again don’t know where you been but they have talked about roads and drainage in ward 1 many times.
        You sound like lying les Oliver with all her crazy numbers she throws out there.
        Beth, that’s what you call a goat roping and being led around on a short rope.
        2 mill increase , need 4. Still very low.
        Ice straight up asked for the increase.
        Putting that responsibility on himself.
        Again no hiding, straight chooting,
        Facebook s payed out, that’s why I like this administration.
        Also proud of Ms. Sissy for standing up against the goat.
        City must have funds to operate.
        Previous administration lied, misspent, instead of standing on 2 feet and stating what was needed to run this city.
        Instead ran this city into the ground and almost took it to bankruptcy.
        Joey, Ice and Lonnie stopped that thank goodness. Give credit when credit is due.
        Question of the month, How much longer will the goat roper lead the goat?
        Wake up Gary.
        Didn’t inten to be so long but tired of the goats.

        1. I’m not attempting to dox anyone, but was E. E. Cummings a relative?

          Seriously, if those not familiar with “Slabbedspeak” cannot make sense of what is posted, they will simply ignore it. If the purpose of Slabbed is for a handful of people to have an online forum to figuratively wink knowingly at each other, that is one thing. However, if anyone expects Slabbed to be a useful voice for anything, or viewed as a source of information, the average potential reader must be able to make sense what is posted.

          As an aside, anyone nervous about offering an opinion about public figures might wish to Google “actual malice,” “opinion exception,” New York Times Co. v. Sullivan, 376 U.S. 254 (1964), Milkovich v. Lorain Journal Co., 497 U.S. 1 (1990), and other related case law. I’d suggest that posting otherwise-libelous things about public figures using a “codename” wouldn’t be a solid defense if the “codename” is generally known to “the public” to whom the libelous statements are made, i.e., they know who is being accused. In practical terms, posting an accusation on Slabbed that “[email protected]@$$ did ” and “Haley Barbour did ” would likely be seen by a court as the same thing (potentially libelous), as would posting “I don’t think [email protected]@$$ was a good Governor” or posting “I don’t think Haley Barbour was a good Governor” (protected opinion). I’d further suggest that posting accusations about anyone that you know are false isn’t a good practice whether or not you get sued for doing it.

  5. It is really sad that the Board at BWYC would make such a decision in order to save what 20+K a year in taxes. That is less than 2K a month. Was all of this worth it. The person making that decision probably thought they would look good in the eyes of the club members saving them money, but didn’t expect the downfall of perception in the community. That 20+k a year is nothing to the club. They were paying it all these years and it was in the budget. I wonder what they did with the extra money now in the budget?

    1. We are still document gathering but the Club newsletter indicates that the club is sweeping excess cash into a savings account.

  6. I attended the Bay’s budget hearing last night along with a handful of other interested citizens. They are not in a good place right now, not only financially, but it appeared last night that just getting everyone on the same page was a task in itself.
    Harsh words between Council-at-Large Knoblock and City Clerk, Gonzales led the proceedings when he asked for a clarification on some figures and she snapped back, “I get them to you monthly. I can’t help it if you don’t understand them.”
    Doug Seal tried to comfort Knoblock by saying, “the administration can’t spend a dime without Council approval!!!!” He must have forgotten the last 8 years he was sitting up there in LaLa land while that was going on, and he voted to burden the taxpayers with a $500,000 loan to make up for it.
    Knoblock offered as one solution to ease the burden on the taxpayers is to have the employees share some of the cost of their health insurance. I hope Gary will include those on Council who are being insured by the citizens that same responsibility. Actually, I don’t think Council should be insured by the taxpayers. They are part time, and I don’t believe any part time city employees are offered those benefits. Just my opinion. And that would be a savings to the city if they all got off the program. Currently, I think Seal is the only one not letting the city insure him.
    Legal services for the coming fiscal year are budgeted at $140,000, with no contract. Don’t know what the retainer is. No one mentioned it.
    Casino revenue is down $750,000, since 2010, and the newly discovered removal of the Bay-Waveland Yacht Club from the ad valorem tax rolls on their multi million dollar facility will increase the burden more on those who are paying.
    Ward 6 Councilman DeSalvo pointed out the fact that there is only $200,000 in Reserve is very concerning. We all know how fast that amount of money can disappear in today’s economy with one major issue.
    So, they talked a lot, as Ron Thorp told them, “you are talking in circles now, let’s go to Public Forum and see what the Public thinks. They are going to pay for all of this.”
    Stay tuned.

    1. Gonzales may be the best bookkeeper on the face of the planet but if the end user can’t understand the results of her work, even if it is perfect, she has not done her job as the City’s Chief Financial Officer.

      The numbers in a financial statement do not exist for their own sake, they are there to tell a story and it is the CFOs job to tell that story in a way the users of the financials can understand.

      Being snippy when asked a question indicates she may not have the temperament for the trade.

      1. She pouted the rest of the meeting. She appears to be annoyed at having to be there. I am glad Mike finally stopped allowing her to leave right after her report. If Lisa Planchard can stay for the entire Waveland meeting, and Eddie sits through the longer than the last century Board of Supervisors meetings, and both school district financial officers stay for the duration, Mrs. Gonzales can just do the same. Many questions come up, especially at this time of year, at public meetings that have to do with financials. It’s your job, dear.

        1. The big story ought to be that 3 Council Mrmbers did not show up for the most important meeting they were elected for! Budget and Taxes? WTF?

          1. Duped, you put your finger on the problem. Three newly elected councilmen did not bother showing up for the most important meeting of the year. Their wards need to find new candidates immediately. And remember : they will be paid and insured for their no shows. These appearances and disappearance’s are usually contrived. They needed a quorum, so had to have four show up. Of seven councilmen, three decided to raise our taxes two mils. Less than a majority.
            That’s simply not right.

  7. Doug, Gary has asked the same questions and 1 year later still doesn’t understand. Not clerks fault.
    You ever think it’s him with a learning problem.
    Rest of council gets it, Past council got it but the goat can’t get it unless the roper leads him.
    Seems having the temperament for the trade includes tutoring the goat and the roper.
    Maybe you can sit with him and see if you can make some headway.
    Good luck
    Lana, must disagree with you.
    Once again the and rope disrespected the clerk. Not the first time. Not the first apology.
    Also do not believe ones personal feelings against someone should interfere with his job!
    Or gives him the right to disrespect her.
    She has done nothing wrong and seems to be straight forward with her information.
    Yes it is her job and it’s his to understand or ask for help or ask ahead of time.
    He’s be n in office a year and waits till the night to adopt the Millage rate to ask questions?
    Oh I hear the roper was there.
    Come on man.
    I would tell them to take a flying leap if I was her.
    The goat wants to cut cost?
    7 councilman 1 judge
    I think Insurance cost is around $7,000
    $56,000 in savings, almost covers the increase.
    Mr. Thorpe nailed it.
    Lying les Oliver , stay away, where do you get your numbers from. Oh Blowgez les thomas
    Should have been input from the citizens and a 5 minute meeting to approve or not.
    Not all the drama and last minute BS.
    One more thing.
    The goat wants to put it to a vote. Do your job.

    1. Trust me, getting snippy may have made her feel better but the signal it shows to the outside and especially to financial service professionals screams “unprofessionalism”. It actually gives her something in common with former City Clerk Kolf and that is not good company in my opinion.

  8. Doug, maybe just me and friends but the goat has shown disrespect to this lady on numerous occasions.
    This is not the first.
    Unprofessionally on his part again!
    She has kept her cool far to long.
    Sooner or later you lose it.
    Proud of her. Should have happened sooner.
    No respect for the goat. None! Or roper!
    A man would have take the goat and roper outside and took care of business.
    It is well known the roper and the goat dislike her.
    Gary / Lonnie continue to do everything in their power to embarrass and degrade and disrespect this lady.
    Of all people I can not believe you would compare this lady to Kolf.
    Has she lied?
    Has she falsified information?
    Has she misspent funds?
    She does her job!
    Make me a nonbeliever and show me!
    I call BS
    All this bashing of the clerk , Why?
    Because the goat can’t understand?
    And the roper can’t stand her!
    Or she doesn’t agree with the roper or goat!
    My opinion and you take that for what it’s worth you are totally off base with that comparison and taking up for the goat and the roper.

    1. You will not lie against me period! I with Fillingame in room privately asked Sissy to take both jobs with salary increase three years ago! I also voted to send her and Lisa T. for certification. To state I dislike her is an out right LIE and offensive. I recently stopped in her office and we spoke about offensive people like you spreading lies. I DO NOT and don’t want to see any “Council papers”. I have recommended she finish her certification asap to avoid political bull crap. Councilman Knoblock asks questions he wants not I and questions are a good thing. If we didn’t ask in the past, this city would be broke.. ask the DOJ…

    2. Stone,
      I know you want to be anonymous, and that is fine, but were you at the Budget Hearing Thursday night?
      If Gary is ” the Goat” here, I did not see him get disrespectful with Sissy. I was there. I have seen her snap at citizens at Public Forum as well.
      An elected official that approves your employment and salary asking for clarification regarding information you are obligated to provide them, does not qualify as something to take offense at, in my opinion. Out here in the real world if a member of the Board of Directors would ask the Chief Financial Officer for information, and get the response Gary got, it would be a different scenario, trust me. I saw Kolf get so violent with Carroll Gordon one night I thought he was going to break the podium banging large binders on it. Only in government is that tolerated.
      And one more thing, why doesn’t the Bay have a City Clerk AND a Comptroller? No checks and balances here with one individual holding both positions?!

      1. Mr. Falgout answered your question before you asked it Lana: “I with Fillingame in room privately asked Sissy to take both jobs with salary increase three years ago! “

  9. No the pool at BWYC is NOT open to the public as a “benevolent” club should be. Maybe they should allow once a week the Children from various communities that are under privileged during the summer use of the Pool. This would be a good community project for the “benevolent” club to reach out and allow. Even serve them Lunch like Hamburgers and Hot Dogs. Then I think the people of BSL would accept their “non profit” status….
    Maybe open the Club for the Thanksgiving Dinners the Hancock County provides This would give the people a nice atmosphere for dining.. There are so many charitable things they could do as a “fraternal and benevolent” club. Lets see what other clubs with that status do for the community to benefit for the status.

    1. Maybe the reason Hancock can’t afford nice things is because a lot of (actual) businesspeople don’t want to do business in Hancock County. Among the reasons I’d put forth is folks getting upset about things like who gets to swim at a yacht club and snippy bookkeepers. If (or more likely and sadly, when) the MacPhailles finally get their fill of the nonsense, it won’t be a positive for Bay St. Louis or Hancock County.

      I am not suggesting allowing anyone to run amok, but some perspective is in order. Sensible investors want something for their investment, and at the very least, they are going to want a business-friendly environment. I do not mean being allowed to run the cities and county as a personal fiefdom, I mean being provided a reasonable business environment and not begrudged or stymied from earning a reasonable return on their investment. Some reasonable appreciation shown for investments in the community would do wonders for morale on all sides. Just an observation, do with it what you will.

      1. Nunya,
        What you just described in your very subjective post is exactly how Handcuff County is being run. You are just another one of those back slapping ” wink, wink if it feels good do it” kind of guys it sounds like😜😜

        1. I do mean this as blunt as it sounds, but I don’t mean it as a personal attack: if you think either Bay St. Louis or Hancock County are operated like reasonable, profitable and successful businesses (or even competently-operated government entities), you cannot have any experience at all with such businesses (or competently-operated government entities).

          Yes, there are “personality conflicts” in business because businesses are comprised of human beings. Sometimes, a successful manager has to realize that and let folks settle their own minor squabbles. However, no competent manager would allow the level of nonsense that goes on to continue. Changes would be made, and if attitudes and behavior didn’t change, faces would. To be sure, good management is not simply saying “change or be fired,” but good management isn’t afraid to get rid of folks who simply aren’t doing their part. Unfortunately, the ultimate “board of directors” is the citizenry of the cities and the county, and thus far, the “board of directors” hasn’t been particularly effective or competent. Again, bluntly but not personally, you seem to do a lot of complaining and “watchdogging,” but I’ve seen no evidence that you have put forth proactive ideas about things that really matter and could effect positive change for the county and the cities. Good business management is about setting good examples and leading from the front, not setting bad ones and bitching in the rear.

          Lastly, if you’ve read much of anything I’ve posted to Slabbed and think I’m a “back slapping ‘wink, wink if it feels good do it’ kind of guy[s],” you have wildly misread.

  10. Well, miracles never cease! Since our appearance before the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday, Sept. 4, the Yacht Club By-law change has appeared on their website!!!!!!!!!!!!Only problem is it appeared in the wrong month, Sept. 2015. Then Commodore, Richard “Boo” Heausler, stated in the Sept. 2015, Jib Sheet, that the by law change had been approved as published in the July, 2015, Jib Sheet. Didn’t happen. No” prior to voting publication” for members to review.
    Here is example of how a By-law change should happen according to our by-laws:
    In the September, 2017 Jib Sheet, a”proposed” change to the by-laws was published. This was on page 6. I’ll make this easy for the Yacht Clubbers who are reading Slabbed, and for those of you who do not have Member Login accessibility on the website.
    The following month, after a month of publication, the approval of the proposed by-law change was published by then Commodore, Dina Rosetti. This is on page 2 of the Oct. 2017 Jib Sheet. This change in 2017 addressed classification of memberships. This is a legitimate and ethical procedure for change to our by-laws with the Board of Governors executing their fiduciary responsibility to the stock holders of prior notice as required of them in the By-Laws.
    The one in 2015, was a little more sensitive, shall we say. It had to do with a change in the taxing status of the club from “recreational and pleasure” 501 (c) (7) to fraternal and benevolent, 501(c) (3).
    To date, according to documents available, we are still filing (c)(7) with IRS, as signed off on by Treasurer, Chris Roth, (2016 990) which obviously does not concur with what we have told Delbert Hoseman and Jimmie Ladner………

    1. I’m not a tax attorney, nor am I an expert on tax code, nor is this intended as a legal or tax opinion, but IRS status and state property tax are two different things. First, as far as I know, “fraternal and benevolent” as defined by the IRS is much better defined than the state law, but 501(c)(3) is not “fraternal and benevolent organizations.” Also, while an entity clearly meeting the IRS tests and having such a FEDERAL tax status might be a strong argument in support of a same/similar status for STATE purposes, the two simply are not legally connected by the statute section in question (or by case law, as far as I know). A tax court might say one thing and a state appellate court another. If I read your post accurately, Ladner based his decision to grant the Yacht Club its exemption contingent and based upon the Yacht Club being a 501(c)(3) rather than a 501(c)(7)? Are you sure about both Ladner and the 501(c) subsection? In any case, the 501(c)whatever (non-profit tax code) wouldn’t be determinative of state property tax exemption.

      1. The two concepts have been conflated since this controversy broke by the tax collector and others including here in comments. People have asked me about going to IRS and my response is more power to you if you’re looking to waste some time because it is my opinion there is not a tax exemption issue with the Yacht Club and I want to be clear on that. As far as how they “changed” their by laws that part looks like a clown show run by amateur clowns, especially the part where the by law change they belated ended up passing differing from what they filed with Secretary of State.

        And to be clear, a plain read of the state statute indicates the club does not meet the requirements to get the property tax exemption to begin with. While the revelations of bumbling on the by law change is mildly amusing and should be fodder for conversation inside the Yacht Club, talk about the IRS exemption and confusing state and federal law only leads one into the weeds, a place the politicians like to inhabit which is maybe why there was conflating of the state and federal tax issues to begin with.

        This whole topic of tax assessments in Hancock County is worth a deeper dive though as there are some rich veins of public interest reporting to be done on this topic.

        1. I agree, Doug. Miss. Ad Valorem Tax Code 27 is as clear as can be on this. And you also noticed the difference between what the Yacht Club reported (finally, after the fact) to the share holders and what they sent to the Secretary of State.
          One important thing that was accomplished last week by the appearance before the Hancock County Board of Supervisors by the The Hancock County Alliance for Good Government was that the Hancock County Tax Collector/Assessor, Jimmie Ladner, vehemently fought for and maintained full authority over this exemption, and all others he deems worthy. The Tax Collector/Assessor alone, according to Supervisors’ attorney, Gary Yarborough, determines the eligibility for exemptions. (Sea Coast Echo, Sat. Sept. 8.) He took care of his clients’ liability right away, backing up Board of Supervisors President, Blaine La Fontaine’s initial response to my informing him of the situation with the Yacht Club in an August 17, email–“this is the first we have heard of this.” Yarborough did not address or comment on whether or not the Yacht Club was eligible. He only commented that Ladner has full authority. Therefore, Jimmie, alone can defend his position for this eligibility for the Yacht Club, and any and all others. The Supervisors have left the stage. He is singing solo now.

          1. “Miss. Ad Valorem Tax Code 27 is as clear as can be on this.”

            Please give the legal definition of “fraternal and benevolent organization” as used in the Mississippi Code to which you refer with cites to your source(s) for that definition. Then, please give reason(s) – legal reasons if you can cite any and if not your opinion – as to why the Yacht Club (or any similar private club) should be excluded from that definition. Doing so are the first steps to supporting your argument and without that definition and citations, it has no foundation.

            The reason I ask is that you have stated repeatedly that you don’t believe the Yacht Club qualifies for the exemption it has received, but thus far, no one has cited anything that shows or even tends to indicate that it does not qualify. To be clear, I am not suggesting that I think it should be exempt, agree with it being exempt, or even that it being exempt is “fair,” only that I have seen nothing that indicates that it does not qualify.

            1. Nunya,
              Not that I would ever imagine that I or anyone else could convince you of this, may I suggest that you read Miss. Code–Taxation and Finance–Chapter 31–Ad Valorem Taxes–General Exemptions–27-31-1–Exempt Property
              Go to Section (d) Almost the last sentence before you reach Section (e)
              “All property, real or personal, owned and occupied by a fraternal and benevolent organization, when used by such organization, and from which no rentals or other profits accrue to the organization, but any part rented or from which revenue is received shall be taxed. ”
              Now visit the Yacht Club website: http://www.bwyc.org You don’t have to be a member to visit the link on Events, where we solicit rentals of the facility, and do it all of the time.
              In one month alone in 2016, the manager reported in the Board minutes to the Board of Governors” profits ” of $20,000 in one month on events. Do you see the word “rentals” and “profits” in Title 27? The Yacht Club Calendar lists Private Party Events regularly.
              Am I claiming to be smart enough to decipher this code? No, but Doug has pointed it out to Slabbed readers several times. With his education, experience, and background, I refer you to him. There is an easy fix to this for the Club–just stop renting the facility, and gaining profits off of it. In other words be fraternal and benevolent in real life, not on paper.

              1. Again, the key words are “fraternal and benevolent organization.” Please give the definition of that under Mississippi law. If you cannot do so, why should Ladner or anyone else be expected to? If you cannot cite anything, what is your opinion of what it means and why?

                Look, I’m just playing devil’s advocate, but the point remains. You are explaining your reasoning and that is fine, but without some cite(s) as to what a “fraternal and benevolent organization” is or is not under Mississippi property tax code/law, folks alleging he or the club is wrong is nothing more than unsubstantiated opinion. That is fine for discussion, but nothing more. As to what the Yacht Club might say on its website, that it might talk about “rent” doesn’t mean it is actually rent nor does it mean there is a “profit” from it and/or which accrues to the organization/entity that has the tax exemption, all as contemplated by the statute. It doesn’t mean it isn’t, either. The Yacht Club may not be entitled to an exemption, but thus far, I’ve seen nothing cited by anyone on any side of this thing that offers anything from which a defensible opinion can be formed.

  11. So does this mean it is legally not changed? Proper procedures weren’t followed?
    What percent of members had to sign to approve the by law change? I don’t remember signing anything like this?
    Bottom line on this Doug?

    1. Outraged,
      Didn’t you state in an earlier post that you are a member of the Yacht Club? Correct me if I am wrong. How do you feel about the Board of Governors shirking their fiduciary responsibility to the share holders and approaching the Tax Collector on this without telling us?
      I don’t appreciate it, and don’t trust them going forward either. I had a former Commodore contact me since this broke wanting to let me know he had absolutely nothing to do with this by-law change. They are making us look really good in the community, huh?

    1. Here’s a suggestion for Nunyabidness,
      Why don’t you contact Jimmie Ladner for the definition of fraternal and benevolent with regard to tax exemptions according to state law. He’s the one who stated at the Supervisors’ meeting that he didn’t really disagree with me, but the “law” is forcing him to do this. He’s the one using this fraternal and benevolent “law” to exempt the Yacht Club. And another facet of this deal that is so puzzling and offensive is the Yacht Club being exempt from school taxes. That doesn’t even happen with abatements and homestead exemption, why with the Yacht Club??!! This will all be great material for the elections next year, and don’t think the educational community isn’t watching. Remember they work in a state that won’t fund them at the state level, now it’s trickling down to the local level.
      No wonder the Supervisors bowed out and relinquished this “power” to Jimmie. They see the questions coming.

      1. Lana I am confused as to what power Ladner would be giving up. This is what the Echo story said:

        “A monthly report shall be presented to the Hancock County Board of Supervisors by Hancock County Tax Collector Jimmie Ladner listing all requests made to his office for tax deductions, abatements, and total exemptions being removed from the tax rolls,” Noonan said. “In order for the board of supervisors to execute their statutory requirement to participate in the deliberation and to determine their eligibility of such abatements, reductions and exemptions, as provided in MS. Code 27-35-113, referenced to me by Jeff Foreman from the Mississippi Department of Revenue on Aug. 20, 2018. This monthly report shall be made an official exhibit of the official minutes of the Hancock County Board of Supervisors.”

        If you were asking for a tax collectors report along the lines you suggested to be spread upon the minutes to become part of the public record I do not see how such would diminish the tax collectors authority except to conduct the public’s business with little transparency.

        If you were asking for the Supervisors to approve the report that’s altogether different. Can you clarify that?

        1. Not my words, Doug, but that of Tax Collector:
          Sea Coast Echo, Sat. Sept. 8—
          ” I don’t have a problem in the world cooperating with this board if yall would like an informal list presented. But I’m not going to do it in the form of an order, because where would that stop if I allow the authority of the assessor’s office to be removed?”
          He told me later privately that there is a balance of power in the County government, the Supervisors’ have theirs, and he has his.
          You understand we asked for a list of all “requests” not awards, just those requesting, so that at some point in time before the tax rolls are presented in July, the Board will have those to review. And, we wanted that list of “requests” to be made part of the official minutes of the Supervisors so a record could be established for them to refer back to. He said he would submit an “informal” list, but not under a direct order because he feels that removes his authority.
          We were simply trying to establish more engagement by the Supervisors in the process. That appears to present a threat to Jimmie, for what reason I don’t know.
          But the “5” and their attorney played it cool. He owns this now.

          1. P.S. Doug,
            I liken this to the Planning and Zoning “Requests” that come into the city Building Departments. They are published on the City Meeting Agendas for the public to see because it could affect them in some way.
            For goodness sake, Jimmie has absolved the Yacht Club from school taxes in a state that won’t fund education. Don’t you think the public should have been able to read that on the Board of Supervisors monthly Agenda two years ago?
            This is where I am with this situation: The Supervisors and Tax Collector may not see the value in publishing this information ahead of time, but I can tell you the public they serve can see it. $$$$$$$

            1. If the club is no longer paying taxes, taking the money previously paid and putting it into a savings account, where is any money going to any individual? The club may not be entitled to the exemption, but that is a separate matter entirely.

              And if I may ask, what do you see as the relevance of either § 27-35-1 (Tax lien; attachment; preferences) and/or § 27-35-113 (Department of Revenue to examine recapitulations of assessment rolls; performance standards and parameters for assessment accuracy; assessment ratio studies; proceedings as to counties not in compliance with standards; appeal of order to Board of Tax Appeals; intent of chapter) in this?

      2. I know you could have predicted this reply, but instead of all the tap-dancing and suggestions, just provide your definition of “fraternal and benevolent organization” and the source(s) of your definition. You have repeatedly and in writing publicly accused both Ladner and the board of the Yacht Club of violating a specific law, as well as the trust of the public and members of the club. You have done so based on the definition of a very specific phrase which does not have a “usual and customary meaning” in regular speech and writing. Apparently, however, you cannot provide any definition of the very phrase that is essential to the charges you have made or even an explanation of how the Yacht Club conflicts with the definition/term of art.

        Why do think you or anyone else can hold either the Yacht Club board or Ladner to a definition you cannot even provide, much less show a conflict? And yet again, I’m not suggesting that the Yacht Club is or is not entitled to an exemption. I have repeatedly said that I do not have enough information to form an opinion, which is one of the reasons I asked you what definition you were using and the source of it.

        Lastly, citing the statute back to me (I am the one who originally cited the statute) doesn’t answer the question.

            1. Been reading and listening. My Councilman once again voted for mil raises. Buy grass equipment galore then put aside and still have notes plus pay for contractor. I’ll use sweeper if we could get at least once month service. Help me someone! Is it four, six or five mil increase for these people in 14.5 months in office? Not always happy with Gary but he voted no and demands clarity. My guy Doug, time for change. “Services” he said, what services, what infrastructure, what development? We need to be called Cedar Point Cemetery on Free Yacht Club Drive!

  12. First, one thing I’ve noticed is that several posters here seem to think that merely stating something makes it fact. It may well be known to them, but that doesn’t meet the legal test of a FACT. Moreover, that person may be absolutely correct and know exactly what is what, but again, that doesn’t make it a legal fact. If someone is going to accuse an official of anything, admissible and legally-supportable facts are the only thing that matter. If the accuser cannot support their allegation with admissible facts, citations, etc., it is supposition. Courts, boards, etc., are duty-bound to ignore such things however reasonable, plausible, or even likely they may be for the purposes of informal discussion.

    That said, Ladner’s position as the Tax Assessor is what is relevant here. The Collector position is, at best, a tertiary role to the exemption situation. Why he was not named in the appropriate form would be a question for Lana, etc. I tracked down and read the story in the Echo that I think Doug quotes. The “resolution” requested by Lana, at least as quoted in that story, isn’t well-drafted. Based upon what was reported in that story and posted here, I would suggest that if Ladner were to allow a usurpation of his role and duties as Assessor, it would arguably be a dereliction of those duties and responsibilities, which could also create an exposure to decisions and actions for which he would still be responsible, but were made and taken by others. Based only upon what I’ve read and while I would agree that Ladner, assuming the quotes are accurate, did not phrase it as well as he might have, I see merit in what seems to be his position. Basically, “let me do my job.” The flip side is that by taking that position, he has taken responsibility for any screw-ups and if he screwed up, he should face the consequences. He may be an incompetent jerk or he may be a competent, nice guy. I don’t know him or much about him. I am neither defending nor attacking him or his actions. I’m just trying to see all points and perspectives. If the goal is to condemn him or anyone else on accusations alone, I’m totally against anything of the sort.

  13. Yes Lana I am a member of BWYC and totally embarrassed about this whole situation. I have no recollection of the club changing its status. Personally, with a change so drastic, the commodore at the time and board should have held a special meeting to talk to the members and get their feedback and not make a sole decision that would later come back to haunt them.
    I spoke to a former Commodore and he said he would never have allowed it on his watch. This was something sneaky the board did. And yes they may have sent something in the mail we voted on with new Board Members, but they still should have been more transparent and explain to the members.
    I want to know who was Commodore at the time and the Board Members.
    We definitely should not be exempt from School Tax. or any Tax. We receive the benefits of the City services and should pay for them. I think the current board should send out exactly what was sent previously for us to review and see what we voted on and how it was worded.

    1. The Commodore was Richard
      “Boo” Heausler. They neglected to advertise the change in the By-laws the month before they voted on it as required in our By-laws. The whole thing reeks!

        1. Well, there you go, Pissed, but as an attorney, shouldn’t he have at least some basic knowledge of what ad valorem taxes provide in a community? What about Pringle? Does he live in the Bay, Waveland or Hancock County?

    2. Does the BWYC, as most yacht clubs do, hold an annual meeting? If it does, did anyone reading this attend the meeting the year the tax exemption was sought and approved (2016?), or, did anyone attend in the years it was sought and denied by Ladner? The one thing you say that really jumps out is “This was something sneaky the board did.” I have seen nothing that offers even a good guess as to why the board might have been or thought it needed to be “sneaky” about any of this. If, as Doug posted, the savings is simply going into the club’s account, no individual is receiving anything directly. Again, I agree that the optics of this are bad for the club, that it may not deserve the exemption, and even if it could technically claim an exemption, it doing so was probably not the wisest course, and especially not without allowing input from as much of the membership as it could practically reach. But that said, what evidence is there that the board or Ladner knowingly and willfully violated any law(s)?

      1. BWYC does hold an annual meeting.

        The optics are bad here. No question. Say no more than Boo Heausler and you have the answer as to why BWYC’s communication, etc. about this whole thing were all bumbled from the start. However, this decision did not happen in a vacuum. Truly don’t think there was any ill intent. Folks probably thought it was a good “business” decision for the club. Probably received some “expert” advice to support the idea and went for it. I doubt few of those involved, if any, thought this whole thing through. I.e., is this really the right thing to do? Is the possible negative fallout of this ask, if granted, vs. overall good for the community worth $20k a year?

        The board members are all elected volunteers. Did they screw up? PR wise.. absolutely. Notifying members of the by-law change? Possibly. Did they intentionally ask Jimmie Ladner for an exemption they knew to be illegal or under false pretenses? Huh? If you think that is the situation, you’re giving the board of directors much more credit than I think is deserved. Would Jimmie Ladner intentionally grant an “illegal” tax exemption without vetting it first? Does anyone truly believe Jimmie is so drunk with power he is running the Tax Assessors’ office like his own personal fiefdom? Seems out of character. Makes me wonder what’s the real situation. Could Jimmie have mad a bad decision? Maybe. Intentionally bad decision? IllegalI decision? Don’t know. Not for me to say. Bad optics? Absolutely.

        Should this entire situation be questioned by the BWYC membership and Hancock County taxpayers? Yes. Should both the board of directors of BWYC current and past members, and Jimmie Ladner be crucified on a blog for lack of better judgment? Maybe. Maybe not. Is this tax exemption legal? Again, don’t know. I’m with Nun on this. I’m not convinced it is illegal based on the information I’ve seen. It does stink as badly as a broken sewer line in Jackson, Mississippi does. It doesn’t look good from the outside looking in, but what law(s), if any, were broken? Still TBD.

        For what it’s worth, BWYC isn’t getting “rich” off this. The funds for the new pool did not come directly from the tax exemption. The club actually plans for purchases, property maintenance, added amenities, etc. The ladies’ auxiliary also raises a great deal of money to pay for things at BWYC too. Just as an FYI… BWYC board of directors didn’t fund the original pool. Oh my, and some individuals actually pay for items out of their own pockets for the benefit of the entire BWYC membership.

        Yes, many of the BWYC members volunteer hours of their time and money supporting both BWYC, in general, as well as local, national and international sailing events for both adults and youths. And more. The club spends very little directly on these events. Volunteers’ time, money and resources support the majority of these regattas, which in turn benefit the community. Also, keep in mind many of the same people that volunteer their time, money and resources at BWYC also do much the same in supporting their communities.

        They’re always a few rotten eggs in every bunch, but overall the mistakes of a few are not reflective of the whole here.

        Again, just my opinion.

        1. If it matters to you in the least, I am now convinced that Lana does not have the slightest idea of what she is ranting about. The “Tax Collector” nonsense was the final straw. The sad thing is that somewhere under all the bullshit, she may actually have some rational point. I am tired of trying to decipher what it might be and I wish you well if you proceed. I’ll offer this: until someone comes up with a justiciable (or just reasonably supported) definition of “fraternal and benevolent organization” and one that Mississippi courts will at least find arguable, allegations that ignore that fundamental threshold border on actionable because they are neither reasonable nor supportable.

  14. The individual members have benefited from the tax savings. They were able to pay for the new swimming pool without increasing membership dues. I believe it was north of $150,000. The false mission statement is grounds for the sheriff to get involved. Deception intended to result in financial gain is fraud. I would think the burden of proof should be on the board of governors to provide a detailed list supporting the mission statement. Or it face conspiracy to commit fraud charges for everyone involved.

  15. The mounting frustration of members and former officers, including past Commodores, is totally understandable here for those who prefer ethical business practices, such as a corporation’s Board operating within the By-Laws voted on by the Shareholders.
    And, what kind of character approaches the Tax Collector for an exemption from school taxes in a state that can’t fund public education? And, what kind of Tax Collector grants it? Even large businesses who show an interest in investing in a community are told any tax abatements to encourage their investments will not include school taxes.
    The initial letter written to Tax Collector, Jimmie Ladner by then Commodore Rowe Crowder (2-2-2016) “on behalf of the Bay-Waveland Yacht Club” thanks Jimmie for agreeing to meet with him, Samuel Christopher Johnson, and Ralph Pringle. He goes on to say,” It was recently brought to our attention that we may be eligible for a tax exemption due to the nature of our organization.”
    Really? Who brought this to their attention? And who authorized them to speak for the uninformed shareholders?
    Are we to believe that in the second month of Commodore Crowder’s term as Commodore, he didn’t think he had the ability to lead the organization in efforts to raise a mere $20,000? That was done within one month according to a report by the manager to the Board of Gov. just four months later.
    Or was it just easier to pick the pockets of the school children of our community? Apparently so.
    For those of you who are frustrated over this fiasco, just wait it out. I predict when it all shakes down, we will all be soooooo happy to be able to say we knew nothing about this.
    You know that old saying, ” once you’ve done your dance, you have to pay the band!”

    1. Are you stating some folks here aren’t in favor of ethical business practices? If so, that’s not been my take. Don’t think anyone should standby and not speak up when some action or decision rises to the level of questionable much less unethical or illegal behavior. Unethical behavior, in the truest sense, is a high bar to cross. Questionable behavior on behalf of those involved in this fiasco? Would seem to be the case. Not sure their behavior and actions rise to the level of being truly unethical. Just my opinion though.

      Chris is an attorney besides being a board member at the time of the meeting you’ve mentioned.. He would have been in an advisory role. Again, this entire situation did not happen in a vacuum. It took more than one meeting to come up with this idea and put a plan in place to execute. By-in-large the membership at BWYC is a good group of local and semi-local residents. Can’t imagine the majority of the members are okay with what has transpired. Sure plenty are glad it’s come to light so it can be properly addressed.

      Also, one would assume the active members that elected the board members gave them the right to speak on their behalf. These board members are reflective of the types of “characters” the active membership wanted in charge of the club. Hence, the election of said characters.

      Never hurts for the membership to step up and to help energize, organize and campaign for the election of men and women with high ethical standards during the board election period. Would certainly help the club avoid situations like this one in the future.


      1. Lord Clifford,
        If I may, are you suggesting that by virtue of someone being an attorney they should be assumed to be ethical? Now, I don’t know Chris Johnson. He may be second in line to be Pope, but this decision, that you suggested he sat in on in an advisory position was pathetic, in my opinion.
        And, the Board of Governors speaks “on behalf” of the shareholders?! We’ve hired a few attorneys in our life, and none of them spoke “on our behalf” without consulting with us first. If they had, they would not have been our attorney for long.
        As far as the shareholders becoming energized and campaigning for the right responsible Board members, remember at the Yacht Club, it’s who owns the most stock that influences and elects the Board. Does it always get us the best Board members……..

        1. Lana,

          No. Just stated as an attorney he was probably there in an advisory role by nature of his chosen profession. We could ask the same question about doctors too, but won’t go there. You have every right to your opinion on the matter. It’s understood.

          Frankly, I don’t want the board of directors to consult me on every decision. That’s why they’re elected – to run the club. That’s also why we have a manager. If I have an issue I call someone. It’s really not that complicated. All things considered, the club is very well run. I don’t see a mass exodus of membership due to this situation. The decision to ask for the tax exemption was a bad one. Is it the end of the world? No. Should it be addressed now this information has come to light? Yes.

          Elections….. That’s where you’re wrong. The active members elect the board of directors now. The rules changed several years ago. If you’re not active you can no longer use your stock to vote anymore. It’s no longer a race to see what candidates can garner the most votes from those inactive members that hold stock to secure their spot on the board. So, yes. Things have changed and it is possible for “characters” like Chris Johnson to get elected now.

  16. Whoever suggested the change gave the Board bad advise. I’m sure the Board was looking at the Savings of tax dollars not realizing the consequences later. I am not defending the Board at all. Only they should have looked hard at what they were doing as a change and studied it. Was the 20k savings worth the black eye in the community? I bet they didn’t even think about the long term effects on the community.
    Board members are not the smartest group. They are Sailors, doctors, attorneys and insurance guys….
    But now, since it is a Fraternal and Benevolent group they can do good for the Community. Maybe they should “Donate” a certain $$ amount to the Schools and Librarys in Hancock County that maybe equivalent or greater than the tax dollars they lost?? This would be a wonderful Gesture. Maybe host different events gratis. The end of the year Teacher Luncheon? So many benevolent things can be done.. Most organizations with this status always “give back” to the communities they are in.

    1. What about this, Outraged- the ” fraternal and benevolent Yacht Club could advertise that use of the facilities by teachers for whatever occasion, or schools for Proms, parties, meetings or whatever educational gatherings is free?!

      1. Here are a few more fraternal and benevolent ideas:
        We could sponsor a dinner for the first responders who services we are getting now for free
        We could treat the Public Works Dept. to lunch a couple of times a year. If we have a Public Works issue, they have to show up for free too now.
        We should be offering swimming classes to the kids in the community too. That is so important in our area.
        I think the Board of Governors is formulating the budget for next year right now.
        Hopefully they’ll consider incorporating some of our ideas, Outraged. We are both members just trying to make a few suggestions!!

  17. Duped, you put your finger on the problem. Three newly elected councilmen did not bother showing up for the most important meeting of the year. Their wards need to find new candidates immediately. And remember : they will be paid and insured for their no shows. These appearances and disappearance’s are usually contrived. They needed a quorum, so had to have four show up. Of seven councilmen, three decided to raise our taxes two mils. Less than a majority.
    That’s simply not right.

  18. Those 3 are nothing but Cowards. Now they can say they didn’t vote for increase of taxes. But shame on the president running the meeting. The vote should have been tabled until they had the entire council at the meeting. Do you need a quorum or majority of board to be present to vote on such matters? Not of those there.?

  19. Has anyone checked the Agenda for the Special Called meeting of the Bay St. Louis City Council for tonight?
    No.1 on the Agenda is approval of the budget.
    They are not having Public Comments until later on the Agenda.
    Maybe someone could request they amend the Agenda and have Public Comments first.
    That would give the public an opportunity to ask questions or offer suggestions before they adopt the budget.

    1. We will be presenting facts not crap or personal favorites in 2018/2019 elections and current affairs. Ms Noonan, Council President should want to do it. This current Tax Mil jamming is not necessary according to R&E report and to give certain chosen few another raise! Building up, value of mil up, their egos of wants up. Mr. Buddy no go? Mr.Larry teaching a religion class? and poor Mr. Gene ill. Responsible to public? Stashing of cash without an “public announcement” of purpose is not transparency. 14 months plus 13 days in office results in equipment bought now parked with notes plus grass contract! Personnel cuts? saving yes. 100k Library cut, saving yes. Mileage income up, yep. Sales tax up, saving yep. Utility fund 600k flush, they will raid this shortly. They left $3 fee when coming in office, that will increase to $8.50! So now tax us to give them $258k more to use! For what? 14 months in, tax and fee increases daily? Speak up BSL citizens or keep paying up. Get ready next year, rumor is major 10 million bond cost coming! Hope one of these Councilman hand raiders hit Ms. new lottery?

      1. Well, request a change in the Agenda for this one meeting so you can be heard ahead of the vote. You never know what effect it can have. In my opinion, not such a big favor to ask.

        1. We just watched the film citizens! Councilmen were given a budget analysis instead of Salary Ordinance to approve? Seal look fine, Reed no questions, Larry teaching religion, Josh ok? Knoblock forty questions again but knew he wasn’t getting a real Ordinance, Seal telling Knoblock it’s ok? Does any of them know what they’re approving? Special pay raises! Damn do your homework fellas or learn to read. Fly fly away our taxes.

          1. But $5.00 an hour pay raise for one employee? Is that true? Seems a bit much!! I think in the long run I would rather have a “forty questions” Councilman than one with a “rubber stamp” in his hand. And, yes, Larry should have been there. He took the oath to serve as a Councilman long before he obligated himself to teach a Bible class. But they get paid whether they are there or not. Maybe that’s the problem. Put them on a per meeting basis.

            1. No certified Comptroller or City Clerk still…. one guy threatened to leave, here’s 5k. PW dude you stay, here’s 4K. Hey Pat thanks for 30 years but sorry go downstairs! Wow! Locked office doors, cardboards on windows? Mr. Reed asked if Clerk certified? Yes she said! Hope she don’t mean MML.

              1. Interesting article in the Wednesday Sun Herald from the Associated Press about the State Auditor, Shad White, citing the Noxubee County Chancery Clerk for donating budgeted county funds to local churches in the county!!! Yes.
                White has ordered her to pay it back with interest and the cost of the investigation, and if she doesn’t, he’s prepared to sue her for it.
                What are these people thinking????!!!! (Sun Herald, Wednesday, Sept. 12, page A 3)

  20. Lana, From what I was told your $5.00 a hr. raise for the position the employee is filling is $20,000 les than what the person before this employee was making in that position.
    That’s right almost $20,000 savings
    Hope this helps.

    Alliance , Facts or BS
    What equipment is being parked?
    Sounds like lying Oliver.
    Only equipment sitting is what the previous administration failed to fix.
    Ask any city employee about how nothing was fixed and everything was run down.
    This has been mentioned numerous times in meetings.

    The $3 on the utility bill?
    This pays the SRF loan that has been kicked down the road for the sat 8 years.

    Increases this year are increases passed on to the city which by law is passed on to the citizens.
    And the second SRF loan payment due.

    Except $2 for the grapple truck service.

    The $600,000 reserve in the utility account.
    Thank you.
    After the previous administration bankrupted the utility account rates were raised.
    Now they have money for projects repairs and more.
    They just approved a $200,000 sewer repair in cedar point.
    Money from where? This account.
    I guess You will call this Raiding the account

    Raises you earn it you get it.
    That’s the way it should be.
    Just wish Council hadn’t cut the police and fire raises or the at least .50 raise for all.

    Public works bosses
    Making les than previous bosses.
    Paid for what they know.
    Previous administration failed to have someone ready to replace them.

    Pat go down stairs?
    Don’t know about this except payroll is outsourced for $25,000 a year compared to her cost of $75,000 a year.
    You have a problem with this?
    Wow $50,000 savings

    Certified clerk never asked about.
    She stated it is a 3 year program and she is working on it.

    Reed and Seal, Where were you when the previous administration put unqualified people in these positions and paid them $50-$60,000 a year for part time work.
    Kolf and Katherine both part time working out of their home.
    Or when you approved and gave Paula a $5hr. Raise for what?
    Or Blowgez a $4-$5hr raise and allowed him to run his business in a residential area or do it on city time or crash the city web page when he was 💩💩💩💩canned
    Or Oliver with his dui and non qualified expectations and high salary? What liability does that put on the city?

    Reed asked about deputy clerk and yes the deputy clerk is certified.
    Sissy said there are 3 deputy clerks in the city.
    No names mentioned.

    Next $10,000,000 bond.
    Again only the goat speaks of this amount.
    Ice and other council speak of dirt roads
    and paving around $2m
    Drainage around $3.5m
    Engineer said they put in for a $5m grant
    Hope they get it.
    Roads need paving
    But $10m bond BS

    Alliance sounds like you and lying les Oliver and the diversity puppets and a few anti’s don’t know what facts are.
    Make up BS and spread it.

    Guess you would rather have
    thieving lying les, Kolf ,Katherine , Blowgez, Oliver, Paula and others who were unqualified, overpaid, manipulating
    And bankrupted the city instead of Ice and council tell it like it is.
    They need money? They ask for it!
    Not take from whatever account they choose and lie or blame others.
    Lost ❄️❄️❄️

    Lana, Can the new auditor White come back on previous administration for misspending the DOJ money or the garbage money or the waste water money?
    This is what needs to be done.
    Previous guy had no 🎱🎱. Sold the taxpayers out and his own staff out.
    Please turn your focus on this and the misspending of school board money on the vacation singleton took and board approved.

    Storage fees , Very Interesting
    Smell a rat that all of a sudden he can go from $1000 a month to ? $$200 ?
    Larry and Josh been discussing and called BS this fee for months.
    And a new proposal?
    Big rat.
    The goat still wants to use them?

    1. Stone, we agree with some of thoughts but now name calling of your personal vendettas. We spoke to Seal, Knoblock and Reed individually in last week and all stated roads need to be done but a overall 8/10 Bond together is only smart solution for all. Echo just reported we’re hooked for wrong house tear down! More Les mistakes that has to be paid. We agree, go after their Bonds. Our point of questioning is: grass equipment past and recently purchased still has notes regardless of condition? Raises for all not a few is our point including police and fire. Reed/Seal long time holdovers, why not leadership and inquiries? Don’t agree with your $20k savings on Paula/Replacement. Maybe 4K! Ms. Pat is college graduate with a degree in accounting we’re told and more certifications? Does a 35? year employee deserves respect and a little seniority? We stated not bashed: Is asst. Clerks Tim K. sworn in for check signing or are they Deputy City Clerk MML certified like Ms. Fayard in Waveland? Ask with us please? Questions, transparency and documents facts we research. Our inquiries Oliver, Jerry, goat, lies and any other names you throw out!

    2. Okay, Stone, let’s see where do we start here?
      On the $5 an hour raise, that is why I put a “?” behind my post. Thanks for clarifying. Before we leave this subject, what was the previous salary, and what will the new one be? You seem to have all of the figures.
      I am aware of the equipment fiasco. Sat through many meetings with Les’s excuses. Rhonda never questioned him?!!
      What increases were passed on to the city and from where? $$$$
      If you are accusing me of saying someone is currently raiding the utility account, that is inaccurate. I haven’t posted on that subject. Doug allowed it to be discussed here at Slabbed when Les and Kolf did their number on it, and got off scott free, so far because Council would not revoke bonds.
      So, Council has cut pay for Firemen, Police, and Public works? Wonder what prompted that?
      Did I say anything about Pat Tice?
      I agree Reed and Seal are fresh out of excuses. Been on Council almost a quarter of a century, and still don’t know what’s happening.
      I don’t know if the new State Auditor can or will come back on the DOJ money or other issues. I do know he has cleaned house up there. New eyes looking at things now.
      Please don’t “ask” me to look at School Board misspending, and especially with regard to Maurice’s vacation at our expense when his term had expired. I was doing that when no one else would.
      I have no idea about anything regarding “Goat” and storage fees. Wish you would identify people and facts. It would be more helpful, especially if it involves public funds. The folks have the right to transparency, not nick names and innuendos.

  21. Lana, The $5 raise?
    It is around $4.25
    That position that is being filled now will be around $40,000
    Was close to $60,000

    Never stated you mentioned raiding the utility dept.
    but Alliance with facts did.

    Council did not cut pay just took the .50 raise off the boated this year.

    Again alliance with facts mentioned her.
    35 years with all the education in the world don’t get you anything if you don’t perform your duties.
    New administration. Prove yourself.
    Not a union. Too much protection in the workforce already.
    Private world don’t accept it. Gov shouldn’t accept it.
    But They stated she will be moving down stairs to oversee the utility dept.
    sounds like that’s a promotion if you ask me.
    We were told Paula’s job was not filled. Her duties were taken on by another employee.
    $20,000 savings is another position they show being filled.

    Lana we appreciate everything you and Doug does. The questions you bring up. Only thing for you was about the $5 raise.

    Rest of my comments were toward alliance for facts.

    Sorry for the mix up. I will try to be more clear.

  22. We’re not doing anything but asking questions and list what we find, we’re told or shown. Bldg was indeed been bad but so has Finance for 9 years now. Just looking for better. Mr. E. Favre, Mr. L. Fillingame and now Mr. M. Favre has to face scrutiny and questions . We attached no one.

  23. Lana, Definitely will not confuse the two.

    Alliance for facts. You state you list what you find. That’s good but make sure they are true and actually facts and not BS.
    I would be very careful of some of information being put out there by the few anti.

    You are correct in saying this administration must face scrutiny.
    All should be held accountable.
    From the top to the bottom.

    You state financial has been screwed up for 9 years.
    Just think how bad it would be if the 3 amigos didn’t stand up to lying les 5 years ago.
    As Some has stated, no telling how long it will take to rid the city of the Fillingame fiasco.
    Almost like the Longo fiasco in Waveland a few years back.
    Something new everyday.

    Does anyone think when Ice asked for a Millage increase he could see the writing on the wall with this lawsuit coming up?

    Don’t sound good.
    Just a thought.

    1. We appreciate your calm and clear advice. For frankness, we’re 2 who live in Ward 1, one in Ward 4 and one in “annexed” Ward 5. Just tired of talk, taxes and tailgating bull. Do for all, all pay together and quit being selfish. We feel that this Council is selfish and not across the board. Tks

  24. We have a question and concern! Mr. Joey would not and could not talk, vote or discuss when Council business was related to his livelihood. Why is Mr. Smith allowed to converse about IT Info, we’re told he’s in direct competition for business with these (?) companies. Mr. Seal, cleanup properties in Ward 1 please start now and a illegal Fema cottage you continue to ignore. Mr. Desalvo, you were spotted with K. Marquar this a.m. at your office. Why sir? Isn’t he suing BSL and Mr. Falgout? Is this legal sir?

    1. And why is the Cure Hotel speaking now, as a guest, at the Council meeting, with a prepared report, when not on the Agenda???? Same song different singers …

      1. Wait Trixie, results from Pool Patio adult beverage Council review: not on agenda then wants 15 yr tax abatement back in there pockets! These yardbirds, especially Larry praising their efforts, were ready to give it till Mr. Gary K?. spoke up stating y’all raised mileage ( we believe he voted against it) two years in a row and now you want to give tax dollars away. Really? Open that box and see Mr. McPhaille and developers line up at the microphone. Give our tax money to private concerns pockets. Yes Mr. Gary K? you darn right a public hearing needs to happen before these yardbirds give away the eggs on October 4?!. Please citizens call these idiots and teach them, “taxes pay for fire, police, PW and even cleaning the streets in front of hotels and having Crusin da Coast” But of course they keep Crusin taxes too. Going to get another brew and rewind the tape! Idiots.

        1. The trough is getting longer and wider.
          The ” non profits” lol
          slurping up the ad valorem, which includes vital support for our schools, and now sales tax– all of the slurpers are the more affluent in the area.
          I hope that hearing room is packed like a sardine can for the hearing!!$$

          1. Local Business owners and businessmen that belong to the YC are upset. They won’t speak publicly but they sure are upset about being found out. Accusing anyone they can that may have spilled the beans on their taking of the public as assholes that don’t know any better.

            If they truly believe they need the tax payer to pay for their perceived benevolence which is social and leisure, I challenge them to be Forthright about it and tell their taxpaying customers how they feel. Quit worrying about who broke the news about public information and set the record straight. Haha they would never do that.

  25. Has Mr. Ladner ever provided a list of “non profits” for Hancock County?
    I think this is vital for the tax paying citizens of the area before the next hearing for the council on tax raising issues.
    Maybe he is afraid to share this information. We may be surprised to see how many and who is on the list? What are you hiding Mr. Ladner?

    1. Ad Valorum rebates on County level and now City Councilmen wants to be the elite grantors of Tax Abatement? We will ask State of Ms. A.G. if Council has the authority to give tax money to private enterprises with just a friendly vote? Do we live in an anarchy or municipality? Give money away and we’re told Mayor wants a food and beverage tax next? Let’s keep raising taxes, give some away, then tax our visitors and tourists higher!

  26. Cure Hotel?
    Don’t know why it wasn’t on the agenda.
    But I think this is a very good thing for our city.
    They stated the city would get about $65,000 guaranteed taxes on the building, trickle down sales to the shops bars and restaurants. At?$.
    In return they give up $20,000 in sales tax?
    I like it. Wise decision.
    Get $65,000+ and give up $20,000
    Pitty them fools that dont understand this.
    Waveland has incentives, the county has incentives, everyone. So why is it bad for the bsl to go after a much needed project?
    A piece of tourism that is missing in our city.
    Tourism city without a hotel?
    If they came to Coleman Ave would anyone be arguing about this. No
    but because it’s in the bay some people don’t think it’s right.
    And yes I know they went up on our taxes. This is even more of a reason to get this hotel.
    I hope they do pack the building. I hope all the supporters show up and not just the 10-20-30 anti everything.
    Not sure about Josh and Marquar, but see nothing wrong if they are friends? Faulgout & Marquar are the issue. Not Josh. I have seen josh with Lonnie. So?
    Lana I agree about nonprofits, too much free money for them, too much non taxes on property.
    And all these people that want a $1M for a piece of property, they should be taxed based on that amount.
    Yacht Club.
    Hog Wash, Pay your money.
    Outraged, if you want a list of non profits go ask for a public request. I’m sure Mr. Ladner would get you one.
    Go Hotel

    1. Stone
      Could you share with the rest of us the incentives Waveland has currently.
      When I served on the short lived Waveland Evonomic Development Commission, Tax Collector, Jimmie Ladner, was our invited guest speaker one month because we wanted to investigate the possibility of offerering abstements ( exuding school taxes) to encourage development on Ceman Ave. Jimmie said he understood our plight, but had mixed feelings about abatement because he considered himself the guardian of the tax base in Hancock County.

      1. Lana, Not sure exactly what they have done but I thInk they put some incentives along with the county incentives on Coleman Ave. and surrounding area.
        Not sure of the dollar amount.
        But I thought it was in the paper when they passed this.
        Will try to research this and if you find out let us know.

      2. Gulfport offers property owners south of the tracks a half off incentive for 10 years to develop their property. Certain areas along the Beach front have not built back and the hope is the incentive will spur development.

        I can see offering incentives to develop property in areas that are not seeing much investment. I’d need convincing that giving tax breaks to developers for building in areas that do not need any extra help coming back is something other than a fancy form of corporate welfare.

        The council entertaining such business, off the agenda, last meeting is highly troubling and exhibits the worst of the bad habits of the prior council and administration where the Council meeting agendas bore no resemblance to the business conducted at the meeting.

        1. Councilman DeSalvo said that the Cure Hotel didn’t seem to make it on to the agenda somehow .. DUH .. could it be because the Mayor handed out the packets minutes before the meeting started & Council President Reed said “OK they can be 2nd”? All agenda items are to be to Lisa by noon on Friday unless ….

          1. trixie, you must be tripping out.
            blame the mayor?
            Video clearly shows the packers were handed out by Cure’s people.
            Tell the truth not BS.

  27. Alliance for Facts.
    To start with it is legal or it wouldn’t be in place with the state and have all the requirements and restrictions.
    For a vote? Really? No one with the development lives in BSL.
    Total BS
    Ice has done nothing for a vote yet , not appointments, not hiring or not terminating.
    This isn’t like hiring your unqualified buddy or creating positions for them.
    Wake up, get your binders off.
    Food and beverage tax is done all over.
    It’s called tourism.
    Parking is needed downtown and yes there is a garage that is not utilized as it should.
    Foot or bike 👮 would be nice down there.
    Parking meters ?
    Paved roads and drainage.
    This can fund many things.
    Better than taxing your citizens.
    Take them binders off and look at the whole picture.
    You now have a council for the most part that thinks outside the box and are focused on development and want let a few stop the progress of this city.
    Some say they don’t listen to their constituents. I say they don’t let a handful of anti everything not in my backyard but it’s ok over there stop them.
    With these added taxes that is much needed for our city, just maybe we can start progressing in all areas of our city.

    1. Our on board Real Estate agent says enterprise zones were proposed by last Council and County wouldn’t even consider it. Lana we oldies agree, Joe’s Bayou plan, big bust. Stone, it’s not about one Tax Abatement it’s about how many you will have to give. Tourism tax needs to go 3% on hotel to help all not food and beverage tax. Agent expert here says, “ three major developers are looking now in BSL. Open up that can, expectations from them will get bigger for sales taxes and property taxes. It’s not the money stupid, it’s the message you send”. Forty year vet there Stone!

      1. I am not sure where you are getting your information, but when Waveland downtown was carved out of the Opportunity Zone Map, I wrote to the Dept. Of the Treasury in DC. They informed very promptly to get in touch with my Governor and inquire to him as to why my city was omitted. The Governors submitted the maps to Treasury. I wrote Bryant a certified letter–never responded.
        Like Doug said, abatement are given in areas that have no Development like Coleman Ave. not Main St. and Beach Blvd. whose city officials boast is the most popular small town in the US.

  28. Council thinks outside the box? I hear they also think outside the official meetings!
    The benefit to the downtown merchants may be challenged during the construction phase of this project, which could be a year easily.
    Time will tell. These promises are ” DeJavu 1992″!!
    That project at the end of Joe’s Bayou hasn’t been exactly what was projected and promised either. According to Council Casino revenue has been down for a while,

    1. Lana so we stop construction downtown because it may cause inconvenience?
      Call it quits?

      1992 a bust, never lived up to expectations?
      Still brings in $1.5M to the city plus has that trickle effect. And hopefully these rooms may send visitors to them as well.
      May not live to the 92 expectations but far from a bust, if not for them where would we be?
      Another 10-15 -20 mills more on the tax payer?
      Hell I wish we had one on 90 between frugals and the bridge or another one out there.

      3% tax on rooms but not 2% on food and beverage?
      60-70% of food and beverage sales are from out of towners. And yes Waveland is out of town. And they should do the same.

      3 major developers in BSL. Wow ? More than that I bet.
      One moving forward.
      One was temporary stopped by a few.
      Still a few more out there.
      If they meet the criteria for incentives they should apply. That’s what it is there for.
      Again let’s stay in the dark ages. Let everyone else get what we need in the bay. Let a few control all.
      Will this make the haters happy?

      Lana, looking back I think Waveland offers Millage incentives along with the county incentives.

      Still sounds like the hate is on the Governor with his poverty zone. Again incentives are there for development and to be used if you meet the criteria.

      Do agree that the bay is a hot spot. But some developments need that incentive to pull the trigger.
      Just like most homeowners received after Katrina.

      Does the good out weigh the bad.
      If so give , if not don’t give.
      Really that simple.

      1. Stone
        No one is suggesting that construction stop.
        Nor do I hate the Gov.
        Just stating some facts, realities that will have to be dealt with.
        I didn’t State Casino revenues were down. Council did as they worked on tbeir budget.
        Promises may sound great, but reality is what will be dealt with.
        And you know what they say about reality–
        You don’t have to confront it, it will confront you.

      2. This is Real Agent. Let me assure you that our little Fact group all voted for Mike F.! Between us we have millions of $$$ invested in BSL. We did it thru smart investing, banks and many used Chamber for directions on State, Federal and MDA guidance and still are. But NOT on the back of local governments. That’s all we’re saying. You think personally on your posts of attacks. Not true, we look as investors at all. Had hopes on all elected but we see after 15 months a tax, spend and give philosophy plus wanting to do two or more Bonds. As a numbers guy, our little group see this as a long term recipe for debt. One of our bankers stated, “when you’re at the money table playing, don’t make a loan with your own money. You’ll never get it back.”

      3. Stone, it seems cavalier of you
        to refer to this construction as a little inconvenient to the shop owners who have invested in the Bay for years now. Even the Chamber Director addressed Council
        last year and said,” your downtown is struggling.”Remember the Harbor was supposed to make millionaires out of everyone downtown?! That was a profound statement by her.
        Now, why they are struggling can be multi faceted. Who knows. But thus far the Harbor and Casino have not had the economic impact that was originally “promised.”
        Like I said, promises and reality can be light years apart.
        Time will tell.

  29. Lana,

    The down town merchants who have what the buying public want do just fine.

    The ones on the pity pot that think more tax dollar representation is what they need are not being entrepreneurial.

    The chamber feeds on those businesses and weak politicians like a TV Evangelist. You will all die and fail if you don’t follow them to the trough!

  30. Just ask the CCA how the rental works. I believe they have poked up the rest one too many times by the YC. This will be their last year using the facility.

    1. I have already heard what happened to CCA at the Yacht Club. Your rental price was elevated because you would take away from dinner in the dining room on Saturday night?! They don’t even serve dinner on Saturday nights. Only on Wed. and Fri. Pitiful. About as bad as Chris Roth’s interview in the Sun Herald yesterday. They allow all of the schools to use the facility. Sure at about $150 an hour.
      The Biloxi Yacht Club officials get it. They pay taxes on their Marina because, as he said, “we receive revenue on the Marina slip rentals.” I like Jimmie personally, but does he need a seeing eye dog? Read past the comma on that statute. In fact, Jimmie said to the Sun Herald, “do we want public officials who interpret the law anyway they want?” No, Jimmie, but that is what we have right now.
      Allowing the poor to subsidize your fun is about as low as it gets. Totally embarrassing. And, please stop comparing the Yacht Club to our Veterans, PLEASE!
      I was approached while shopping today by a local school administrator who saw the Echo story. Couldn’t believe they got out of paying school taxes. Shameful, truly shameful. The administrator thanked me, “even though you lost with the politicians, thank you for your efforts.”

      1. Why couldn’t Mr. Ladner lead the charge to investigate and prove they (YC)deserve it. That would, in my mind, say he was working to protect the people’s tax dollars in Hancock County!

        If it was on the up and up no harm no fouls and puts it to bed for him and his buddies at the YC.

        1. Conservationist,
          Mr. Ladner has all of their documents, like he told the Sun Herald. He even has their minutes where they recorded making $20,000 in profits on 6 events in one month, and authorized their manager to handle their “savings” account. What does it take????!!!!!
          At least the Pass Christian Yacht Club officials do not file as a non profit. They are straight up front with it. As Outraged commented here before, it the clubs were not profiting, they’d shut their doors. READ PAST THE COMMA, like Biloxi does.

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