Wednesday, November 25, 2015
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The Tunica Times • P.O. Box 308/986 Magnolia Street, Tunica, MS 38676

Accountability is goal of new county website


TUNICA COUNTY, Miss. – Tunica County is the first local government in the State of Mississippi to provide citizens a new option to view Revenue and Operating Budgets.

October 1 was the official public launch of Tunica County’s open budget portal, This interactive version of the FY2016 Revenue and Operating Budget will show citizens, down to the line item, how the budget is structured and how the county plans to spend its tax dollars this year.

This new initiative allows anyone to browse through the County’s budget and understand how the government operates. It’s a major step toward becoming a more transparent government and transforming Tunica County.

Providing access to information strengthens public trust and establishes a sense of accountability within county government. In addition, making governmental financial data easily accessible engages citizens and is cost effective. Sharing this crucial financial data across the local government also helps foster critical internal communication among departments.

In the past, the budget was released in paper form only, which is costly year over year; however citizens will always be able to obtain paper copies, if requested. Tunica County’s Open Budget Initiative will make budget information readily available to all citizens without anyone having to request it.

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Postmaster cautions against unpaid mailbox usage

Tunica Postmaster Rebecca Smith has issued an appeal to all local political candidates cautioning them not to use mailboxes for non-postal distribution of campaign literature.

“Only items for which postage has been paid belong, and are authorized to be, in mailboxes,” says Smith.  “Using a mailbox to insert items for which postage has not been paid is a violation of the Private Express Statutes, and is therefore illegal.”

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Town expects quick ruling on contempt motion

Prospects for the Town of Tunica and the Tunica County School District to begin receiving gaming tax revenues again improved at a hearing yesterday in Tunica. Special judge Henry Lackey promised to make a quick ruling on a motion by the town to hold Tunica County in contempt of court.

The county was ordered on July 28, 2015 to “immediately resume compliance with House Bill 1002, which includes making all payments due to the Town and the School District as and when the county receives the monthly gaming revenue collections.”

In that order Judge Lackey had also denied a county motion for preliminary injunction but granted the town’s injunctive motion.

Judge Lackey opened Tuesday’s session with a recap of the case:

“This arises out of a matter where the Legislature passed an act [Editor’s note: House Bill 1022] whereby a certain percentage of gambling proceeds would go to the county,” Lackey explained, “and the town got a percentage and the Tunica County School District got a percentage also.

“The parties complied with this act approximately 20 years, but now the county supervisors have decided the act is unconstitutional, and they are withholding funds due to the town and the school district.”

Lackey continued, “In a prior hearing, the Board of Supervisors president testified about the funds due to the town and schools (being) in a special fund, so I have asked the Chancery Clerk (to attend) so the Court might be certain the funds have been set aside and will be properly held until the Supreme Court or the court of last resort determines those funds are the town’s and the school board’s.

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TA announces Royal Court for 2015

Queen LeEllen Perry (front, center) and her royal court invite the community to the presentation of the Tunica Academy Homecoming Court at 6:15 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 25.

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