TYLERTOWN — Walthall County school board members confronted another issue with 16th Section leases at a recent meeting.
Earlier in the year, guidance from the state auditor’s office told districts that leases that are not paid on time should be canceled as soon as possible.
Board attorney Conrad Mord told the board that that principle is also being applied to the taxes that 16th Section leaseholders are obligated to pay.
“The auditor says if the lease payment is late, the board should take steps to cancel the lease,” Mord said. “If it goes to a tax sale, the lease should be canceled.”
He said one of the district’s leases, held by two people, has been paid, but the taxes of $409.88 had not been paid this year.
“I’ve sent them several letters, but I haven’t heard anything back,” Mord said.
Board members asked if he could send a certified letter, which would result in a receipt if the letter was accepted.
Mord, however, said he had driven by the property and “I didn’t see any boogers out there. I’d rather go eyeball them and talk to them about it, if you’ll let me.”
The board gave their OK for Mord to talk to the leaseholders in person.
In another 16th Section matter, Mord said a couple with a residential lease near Salem are trying to sell their house and need a longer lease on the property to facilitate the sale.
“The buyers need a longer term in order to secure a mortgage,” Mord said.
He said the term would probably need to be 40 years to assure the bank that the mortgage could be safely granted.
The board agreed to extend the lease term on the property to 2060.