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Local Leader Reflects on Potential Tax Increase

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JACKSON, Miss.–You would see some direct impacts in your city if Mississippi municipalities are forced to pay more into the state’s public retirement fund, said Greenville Mayor Errick Simmons, speaking to reporters after a Mississippi Municipal League press conference at the state Capitol Wednesday.

“You tell me would I be elected again as may if I had to tell my folks that I’ve got to raise your taxes by ten mills to cover a PERS increase,” said Simmons emphatically. “If we have to send this money, we can’t fix roads and bridges and potholes.”

The MML is focusing on the increased contributions from cities and employees that go into effect July 1.

State lawmakers, including the lieutenant governor, have said they are willing to discuss the contributions, but the Public Employees Retirement System, or PERS, is in trouble, and the increased contributions are meant to help solve some of those funding problems.