- Associated Press - Monday, May 5, 2014

STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) - Starkville aldermen could take preliminary steps Tuesday to develop options for future annexations.

The Commercial Dispatch reports (https://bit.ly/1iPF5eH ) areas east of Starkville, especially those toward Mississippi State University’s campus, are logical choices for possible annexation in the future. However, city officials have not specifically identified land they would like to see added into the municipality’s boundaries.

“With all the development going on near campus and other areas of town, it’s prudent to at least take a look at the issue,” Alderman Scott Maynard said. “I can easily see MSU and its surrounding areas as the center of town in 40 years.”

The newspaper reports Slaughter and Associates of Oxford is a possible choice to do a study for Starkville. The company is currently producing a comprehensive plan, which includes land-use charts and an outline of future use, for Oktibbeha County.

Mike Slaughter, owner and founder of Slaughter and Associates, declined to discuss Starkville annexation specifics since his organization has not been hired for work.

He said generally a potential study would involve identifying expansion areas and their associated infrastructure, population statistics, land usage and potential revenue and expenditure numbers.

On average, that process takes three to six months, he said.

A city that moves forward with annexation must show it can provide services - water, sewer, electricity, police, fire, sanitation and others - to the new area as received within Starkville’s current borders. Most municipalities, he said, annex territory to protect tax bases.

“In Mississippi, if a business is located inside a city, 7 percent (sales tax) is sent to Jackson, and 18.5 percent of that 7 percent comes back to the city. If it’s located in the county, the 7 percent goes to Jackson, and none of it comes back to a local community directly. That’s a revenue stream that doesn’t impact anyone (since businesses are required to pay sales tax within or outside of municipality),” Slaughter said.

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Information from: The Commercial Dispatch, https://www.cdispatch.com

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