State Auditor’s Office still collecting court assessments

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Published: July 12,2010

Tags: courts, state government

ACROSS MISSISSIPPI — On March 24, the State Auditor’s Office reported that several cities and counties were delinquent in remitting assessments to the state. Since March, the State Auditor’s Office has collected more than $1.7 million.

By law, these assessments must be remitted to the state monthly.

When the State Auditor’s Office discovered this problem, some local governments were years behind.

“Although we have collected over $1.7 million so far this year, I estimate $461,000 remains outstanding and left to be collected from approximately nine municipalities,” said State Auditor Stacey Pickering. “It is critical that these assessments be paid to the state on time each month. There are several agencies that depend on these funds, including our Board on Law Enforcement Officer Standards and Training, which pays for all basic law enforcement training.”

Court assessments include traffic citations written by law enforcement entities across the state. When citations are issued, the fines and court assessments are paid to the city or county government. Once paid, the local government entity is required to remit the assessments collected on behalf of the State of Mississippi to the State.

“The State Auditor’s Office continues to work with the Department of Finance and Administration to establish a better notification process to entities that are over 60 days delinquent on settling their state assessments,” said Pickering.

Cities on the list include Como, Durant, Moss Point, Okolona, Picayune, Tchula, Tutwiler, Vaiden and West Point.

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