Laurel Council approves MML plan for old traffic fines, gives OK - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

Laurel Council approves MML plan for old traffic fines, gives OK for vehicle purchases

The Laurel City Council has approved the purchase of 27 new city vehicles. Photo credit WDAM. The Laurel City Council has approved the purchase of 27 new city vehicles. Photo credit WDAM.
LAUREL, MS (WDAM) -

The Laurel City Council Tuesday adopted a resolution supporting a statewide effort to allow cities to collect unpaid traffic fines by deducting money from an offender's state income tax refund.    

The Mississippi Municipal League is promoting the plan, which has to be approved by the State Legislature.

It would let cities take up to 25 percent of an offender's refund each year and use it to pay off outstanding traffic fines. 

Half of the money would go to the city, with the state getting the other half.

Mayor Johnny Magee said Laurel has about $6 million in unpaid traffic fines on the books. 

"If Laurel has $6 million, I can imagine what Jackson has or what Biloxi (has), so we're hoping they will be able to give us an opportunity to collect some of these funds that we can put the money back to use for the citizens of the City of Laurel," Magee said. 

The City Council Tuesday also adopted an order approving the purchase of 27 new city vehicles.

They will cost about $750,000.

"We set aside, when we did our budget, one mill of taxes to pay for vehicles on a continuous five-year note," Magee said.   

He said 13 of the vehicles will be for the police department. 

The rest will be for public works and sanitation.  

"We're trying to get our fleet back up, because we've got some very old vehicles and we're trying to get those replaced," said Magee. 

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