HATTIESBURG, MS (City of Hattiesburg) - In 2002, Mayor Johnny L. DuPree started the Mayor's Financial Education Initiative to provide free tax preparation and educate citizens on earned income tax that were not being accessed.
The City of Hattiesburg offered five Volunteer Income Tax Assistance sites and two Tax Counseling Centers for the Elderly. During the months of December through April, tax return preparations and counseling were provided to residents free of cost. Hattiesburg's American Association of Retired Persons site prepared over 600 tax returns, making it the highest in the state.
On May 20, 2010 the Internal Revenue Services awarded the City the "Outstanding Community Partner Award," for the Mayor's Financial Education Initiative, as well as a Certificate of Appreciation for Community Leadership. "We chose the City of Hattiesburg because of the uniqueness of the collaborative efforts of the city and public and private entities that make up the Financial Education Initiative," commented Nanette Battle of the IRS.
The City of Hattiesburg will continue to offer tax preparation beginning in December 2010 for the 2011 tax season. "Through this effort, there have been millions of dollars poured back into the economy. With the help of partners like the FDIC, AARP and the IRS, this financial initiative has been able to accomplish its goal of teaching citizens how to fill out their tax refund forms correctly," stated Mayor Johnny L. DuPree.