BREAKING: Melton Hasn't Reported Home Addition | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

BREAKING: Melton Hasn't Reported Home Addition

Mayor Frank Melton stands outside of his house, which has a large addition he hasn't reported.

Mayor Frank Melton stands outside of his house, which has a large addition he hasn't reported. Photo by Pat Butler

Jackson Mayor Frank Melton has not been paying taxes on a large home addition to his northeast Jackson house for several years, according to a Hinds County Tax appraiser. "We had suspicions about (Melton's unreported) home addition," said Hinds County Tax Appraiser Benny Keys on Friday. "We're working on that right now, or at least we had been."

An addition to Melton's house at 2 Carter's Grove, which appears to almost double his home's size in aerial photographs, were not cleared with the city's Planning and Development division, an official with the department confirmed. The department had on record a 2001 permit for electrical and air-conditioning renovation at 2 Carters Grove, but has no record of a construction permit for the home since it was built in 1988.

A search through county records on Parcel 572-190 reveals a brick-on-wood home containing a 56-by-42 foot basement, a 56-by-56-foot first floor and a 47-by-36-foot second floor. However, a top-down photograph of the same house shows a predominate addition on the eastern side of the complex. First-hand accounts inside the home describe the addition containing an enclosed, heated swimming pool on the ground floor, as well as a massive upstairs bedroom and private theater.

Keys told the Jackson Free Press that the county had inklings of a possible 60-by-40, two-story addition to Melton's home after the mayor filed the 2001 permit for electrical and environmental changes.

"Those electrical and air-conditioning permits were what tipped us off," Keys said.

Jackson homeowners looking to add square footage to their house must file a permit with the city. The city then forwards the resulting information to the county, which adjusts the new price of the home and reassesses the subsequent increase in taxes the addition means to the homeowner.

Melton never filed the construction permit, however, and Keys said the county could never confirm the construction, even though aerial photos of Melton's gated property, available online, clearly indicate changes in the original 1988 floor plan.

"Trying to get out there and get in stopped us from confirming the addition. You can't get in through the fences. There was a recent issue with one of our appraisers and a judge. We don't go on property anymore without permission," Keys said. He would not confirm whether Melton had refused appraisers' requests to investigate his property.

Keys said it was impossible to verify how much more Melton should have been paying in taxes because of the addition, though Keys felt the cost would be significant. "If you take all (Melton's) land and everything he's got up there, it's a pretty stiff price," he said. "We're trying to work diplomatically with Melton, and there's so much going on, and then it came out that he was behind on taxes. We definitely didn't want to go out there and make a big deal out of this issue when that got out."

The Jackson Free Press reported last month that Melton was four months behind on his county taxes, which were due in February. He owes more than $9,000 for his $352,820 home.

Hinds County Tax Assessor Charles Stokes said the mayor may owe the county least three years of back taxes. The county, said Stokes, only seeks back taxes for three years. If Melton built the addition in 2001, the county will seek no taxes on the years predating 2005.

In recent weeks, Melton has been involved in a controversy involving his last-minute plan for the city to use taxpayer money to pay local businesses to employ youth for the remaining weeks of the summer. When City Council voted down his $1.2 million plan due to insufficient funds, Melton threatened to cut taxes by more than a million dollars next year.

Melton did not return calls to the Jackson Free Press on Friday.

[Click on photos below for a slide show from inside Melton's home.]

Previous Comments

ID
131230
Comment

I said this when issues about Melton being behind on his taxes came out: he should resign as mayor because if he can't manage the affairs of his own home, he definitely cannot manage the affairs of a city (which he has already proven true). And then he expected people to their fines they owe to the city. Of course, his cult followers will say that the media is digging dirt on him in an effort to keep him down.

Author
golden eagle
Date
2008-06-27T22:15:43-06:00
ID
131292
Comment

I'd just have to agree with GE there. Too bad he runs the city, and there's no one with the guts to stand up to him.

Author
Ironghost
Date
2008-07-01T09:27:25-06:00
ID
131838
Comment

Surely it was an oversight because the mayor didn't know he was 'spose to report it. I do not believe a mayor who loves the chiluns would try to cheat the City of Jackson which he needs to employ the chiluns. This isn't consistent with the mayors proclaimed love for Jackson or his high standards. Surely, our next mayor will be someone who can do more than talk skit with the best of them.

Author
Walt
Date
2008-07-02T16:56:10-06:00
ID
131848
Comment

There are a few people, Iron. Just not enough.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2008-07-03T05:56:07-06:00
ID
131881
Comment

In this Ledger story today about Melton's house, its wacky how much it focuses on the impressive size of his house without a hint of irony, considering the above story by Adam: Breeland Speaks, a 12-year-old going into seventh grade at Powell Middle School, was one of a dozen kids splashing around in the mayor’s indoor pool. “It’s fun being in a big house like this,” he said. [...] In Melton’s garage, a group of girls watched as the guys shot billiards. Kids in wet bathing suits and towels ran in and out of the pool house and even more gathered around a large grill waiting for burgers and barbecued chicken. Curtis Claxton, 14 and a soon-to-be freshman at Jim Hill High School, and his friend Antoine Seals, 16 and a rising sophomore at Provine High School, both said their parents made them join PALS. “It was free,” Claxton said. But he and Seals both said they soon found themselves enjoying it and were awe struck being by the mayor’s house. “This is a big house,” Seals said. “When I get home, I’m telling everybody I was here.”

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2008-07-03T18:21:58-06:00
ID
131888
Comment

This is this first time I've read or heard about girls being at the house. Perhaps it was a family event or some of the boys' girlfriends?

Author
golden eagle
Date
2008-07-04T12:30:57-06:00

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