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Secretary of State's tax-forfeited program nets thousands of dollars for Mississippi

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Secretary Hosemann hands hinds county officials a check
Ashley Norwood

Counties, cities and schools across Mississippi are benefiting from the sale of properties seized because of failure to pay taxes.  Auctions of the properties can put hundreds of thousands of dollars back into public coffers.  MPB's Ashley Norwood reports...

Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann is presenting more than $400-thousand dollars to governments around the Capital City.

"That 413,000 dollars is divided up between the county getting 86,000 dollars the city of Jackson getting 125,000 dollars and down to Jackson city schools getting 157,000 dollars," said Hosemann.

One hundred and fifty-seven thousand dollars isn't going to solve all the issues for the troubled school district, but Jackson Mayor Chokwe Lumumba says it will help.

"We see children who don't have the amount of books they need. They're not consistent with the technology in the classrooms that we see across the country," said Lumumba.

"So it means an opportunity to affect that to a slight extent and we have to look for other opportunities to increase that investment even more."

Hosemann says within the last year, more than 1700 properties have been sold through the program. The secretary of state's office has collected over $800,000. 

Jackson business owner Dr. R.C. Hendrix bought the Southport Mall Shopping Center on Highway 80 in Jackson for $140,000. The commercial property has been vacant for 10 years. 

"My intention is to take this building and do something very great with it. It has great potentials. When I saw it I said I've got to have that one," said Hendrix.

The Secretary of State's office says the tax-forfeited program has netted hundreds of thousands of dollars for communities across the state.