After some confusion regarding whether the organization was required to do so, the grassroots group Vote Yes for Starkville Parks has filed its first campaign finance report.
Vote Yes For Starkville Parks Committee Chairman Bart Gregory said the organization initially received conflicting information about whether it would be required to file a campaign finance report, and ultimately did not file a report by the Thursday deadline last week. The organization was later told to file by the Mississippi Secretary of State’s Office, and the paperwork was filed Tuesday as of 12:59 p.m.
The group reported $8,600 in contributions for the calendar year-to-date, with $7,300 listed as itemized. In terms of expenditures, the group doled out $7,060 — $6,821.54 of which was itemized.
The biggest individual contribution for the group came out of the pocket of Starkville Mayor Lynn Spruill — an outspoke proponent of the initiative — who kicked in two separate payouts of $1,000 to Vote Yes. Orthodontist Dr. Russ McReynolds also contributed $1,000. Other contributors include Castle Properties in the amount of $2,000 and Canton-based Corporate Relations Management to the tune of $1,000. The expenses reported by Vote Yes came primarily for campaign signs, cards and advertisement.
Gregory said the report
showed tremendous community support in favor of a 1% hospitality tax to fund Cornerstone Park construction. The city of Starkville will make its decision on the tax increase at the ballot box Thursday. He said the planned facility would benefit the community by bringing in tournaments, and also give local youth a state-of-the-art facility to compete at.
Section 23-15-201 of the Mississippi Secretary of State’s Campaign Finance Guide defines political committees as any political action committee, party, club, association, campaign committee or other group of people aggregating in excess of $200 for a political cause during a calendar year for the purpose of influencing or attempting to influence voters.
Section 23-15-203 of the same guide states that political committees are required to file a statement to the Secretary of State no later than 48 hours after receiving contributions in excess of $200 or making expenditures in excess of $200.