Paul Hampton’s take on the Yacht Club tax exemptions is worth reading because it tells the story of two tax collectors, Tal Flurry and Jimmie Ladner. For lack of a better term the wordsmithing was artful but it is also clear Flurry reads past the comma in the tax exemption statute:
Pass Christian, he said, is chartered as a for-profit business. Biloxi’s clubhouse is exempt but its marina, where it has slips for rent is on the tax rolls.
Lana Noonan suggested in comments that Ladner get a seeing eye dog pronto because he is fooling no one following this story:
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.
For the taxpayers in Hancock County this is a simple matter of fairness. The Sups as a deliberative body have chosen to turn a blind eye to the problem which is rich considering that Board President LaFontaine recently announced he is running for State Senate against incumbent Phillip Moran next year just days after defending the Yacht Club tax exemption at the Supervisors meeting.
When this issue was first raised in comments here, we recognized this was a core issue of the kind Slabbed would never compromise on editorially; Is your local government operating mostly for the people or the good ol’ boys, also known these days as “the Swamp”. Over the last six weeks the answer we’re getting in Hancock County indicates the good ol’ boys are taking care of themselves first. It’s a message that does not resonate well in the community and yes, in terms of how Jimmie Ladner has handled the Yacht Club Tax exemption the Optics are indeed terrible.