Power company to donate $1.2 m to county, schools 4/14/2015

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Power company to donate $1.2 m to county, schools

By Rupert Howell
South Mississippi Electric Power Association (SMEPA) is donating another $1.2 million toward local taxes it was learned during Monday’s board of supervisor meeting held in Batesville.

Power distribution cooperatives such as SMEPA and Tallahatchie Valley are exempt from paying county and school taxes. but SMEPA has chosen to donate to both the county and the South Panola School District each year since purchasing the local power generating facility in 2011.
Both entities were dealt a “setback” when the company was sold to SMEPA following bankruptcy. The facility had previously been on the tax rolls for $60 million in taxable property (15% of $200 million appraised worth at the time).

South Panola School Superintendent Tim Wilder said he was recently notified of the donation and said, “We are very blessed and appreciative (to receive it.) This is a huge deal for the district.”
During the first 10 years of the power plant’s operation the district received funds in lieu of taxes with a portion of that going to retire debt on the current high school offsetting cost of a bond issue for its construction.

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