Grace Christian Counseling and its director Walter Frazier recently received the tax exemption they have sought for the past two months.

Frazier, the certified therapist who runs the 501-C3 non-profit therapy clinic next to Canton City Hall, first appeared before the Madison County Board of Supervisors in July asking for a tax exemption for the organization.

The board had previously tabled the motion for further investigation by supervisors.

At issue was Grace Christian’s income and how it was distributed to its employees. 

The business, Frazier said, should be considered charitable and benevolent because it offers indigent clients its services at reduced rates.

Frazier said in July only 25 percent of the patients’ visits are not covered under insurance policies, meaning three out of every four patients who walk through the door to meet with Grace Christian counselors are making payments comparable to other area for-profit counseling services.

According to Grace Christian’s most recent available federal tax filing from 2018, the business more than doubled its revenue from services from the previous year. It reported service revenue of $116,225 in 2017 and $268,160 in 2018. It lists its total revenue for 2018 as $307,685 and its total expenses at $246,129. 

The tax filing says the company started the last fiscal year with $38,036, made a profit of $61,556 and finished the year with a balance of $99,592.

Because the building in which Grace Christian’s Canton office operates is owned by the church next door, the property itself is not taxed. The actual taxes the organization was requested relief from was translated to less than $30.

Supervisors voted 4-1 to approve the exemption, with District 1 Supervisor Sheila Jones dissenting over the high percentage of regular paying customers the organization serves.

In other action, the board:

• Declared $28,903.97 in surplus funds and designated it for the county’s General Interest and Sinking Fund.

• Extended the window for mining activity for P & G Mine at 1355 Livingston Vernon Road.

• Approved a request for county employee Kyree Lucas to serve as the off-duty officer for Canton Public Schools.

• Approved travel and related expenses for Minor Norman to attend the 2019 Mississippi Fire Service Training Officers Conference in Biloxi on Oct. 16-17.

• Approved the hire of a new jail administrator and promotion of two sheriff’s deputies who completed their first full year of service.