Natchez-Adams schools seeking tax increase

Published 12:00 am Friday, July 7, 2000

A small crowd attended a public hearing Thursday to ask questions and show support for a proposed school tax increase.

The Natchez-Adams School District is seeking a 0.12 millage increase for the 2000-01 school year, which equals a 56 cent increase for a $50,000 house and a little over one dollar for a $100,000 house.

About six residents attended hearing, at Braden School, with only two making comments.

Email newsletter signup

Eva Dunkley, a local resident, said people need to remember the district has not asked for a tax increase in a long time, and she praised the board for its budget.

&uot;For such a small increase to educate our children, I’m very pleased with the work that’s been done on it,&uot; she said.

Since 1996, the district’s millage rate has never risen above 43.9. The rate dropped slightly last year because of a higher than expected increase on the tax roles. Figures came back closer to $6 million than $3 million.

This year’s proposed 0.12 increase returns the rate to its former 43.9, district officials said.

To meet expenses and prevent a greater tax increase, the district is cutting more than $500,000 out its budget this year, said Superintendent Dr. Carl Davis.

To do this, the district is eliminating seven unfilled teachers positions and some other unfilled positions.

It has also moving some positions to other eligable funding sources, Davis said.

Information provided at the hearing reported the district generates 27 percent of it s budget through the local sources, such as the ad valorem tax.

These sources provide more than $9 million of the district’s budget which totals about $37 million

Donald Wilson was the only other member of the community to speak at the hearing.

He asked district officials if they could try and more budget cuts in the future.

&uot;Next year we’re going to continue that effort,&uot;&160; Davis said although cuts are not likely to be as large next year.

As taxpayers, Davis said district officials are also concerned about taxes and want to make what cuts are possible.

&uot;We realize if we manage our funds the right way, we will still our objectives,&uot; which are to educate students, he said.

The school board based its budget increase on estimated tax figures from the Adams County Tax Assessor’s office.

The board will vote on the budget at 4 p.m. Thursday during its regular meeting.