NATCHEZ, MS - The necessity of more than 100 public-owned vehicles taken home nightly by city, county, and parish employees is being questioned in the midst of tight budgets, according to The Natchez Democrat.

Supplied to employees as a job perk, to respond to after-hour calls, or to run business errands, elected officials began questioning take-home car assignments last week during budget interviews with department heads, reported the Democrat.

Natchez Alderman James Gray said only employees on call should have a vehicle, not for commuting purposes.

While some City of Natchez departments have zero take home cars - Tourism, Planning and Zoning, and the Natchez Senior Multipurpose Center - others, such as the police department, have as many as 13, the Democrat said.

Additional city departments that allow take-home cars include Fire, Recreation, Public Works, Traffic, and Inspections, along with Mayor Jack Middleton, according to the Democrat.