Mississippi’s top elected leader is urging Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves to push through legislation authorizing “community improvement districts” or CIDs.
Gov. Phil Bryant said he texted the lieutenant governor on Thursday night encouraging him to back the legislation, which is popular with many Northsiders.
“As a conservative, it is direct democracy. People decide their own fate, for their own communities, with their own money,” he said.
With CIDs, neighborhoods would to form special districts, tax homeowners within those districts and use the funds specifically to make improvements within their respective areas.
Bryant said he’s encouraging as many senators as possible to vote for the measure and is working with Reeves to determine the best strategy for pushing CID legislation through.
Currently, two measures are being considered, a bill authored by Rankin County Rep. Mark Baker that would allow CIDs in cities across the state, and a bill authored by members of the Jackson delegation that would allow CIDs specifically for neighborhoods in Jackson.
HB 1612, Baker’s bill, passed the House in late February and was transmitted to the Senate. The Jackson bill is currently in the Senate Local and Private Committee. Deadline for bringing bills out of that committee is March 15.
Bryant said it’s important that the right bill be brought to the floor to ensure the best chance of passage.
“It comes down to counting (votes),” he said. “I talked to his staff today and texted my support.”