Lauderdale County Tax Collector Stanley Shannon has plenty of potential customers, but his office is completely sold out of license plates for pickup trucks.
"The reason we ran out of license plates is because the State Tax Commission didn't send them to us. We ordered them on April 24. Here's our order date right here where we ordered on April 24 and normally they had plenty of time to get here," said Shannon.
Contrary to popular belief, the tags are not made at Parchman prison. The contract to manufacture license plates goes to the low bidder, currently a firm in Portland, Oregon. But the problem is the state of Mississippi didn't have the money to pay them.
Shannon quotes a letter from the tax commission. "It says that due to additional budget cuts we may run out of money in the tag fund before the end of the fiscal year," read Shannon.
Shannon said he doesn't know how many customers have been turned away but he said there were 1,000 truck tags on hand when the order was placed.
Truck owners will be notified when new tags arrive, possibly later this week. Those whose present tags have expired but have paid for their new tag were given a letter to protect them if they are stopped by law enforcement.