School’s required tax ad causes some confusion

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 13, 2005

NATCHEZ &045; Board members were the first to admit that a no tax increase notice of tax increase is more than a little confusing.

But it’s the law, and the newspaper ad publicizing Monday’s public hearing under the label: notice of tax increase, was required.

So the one concerned citizen who attended the hearing &045; who admitted he was confused about the ad &045; didn’t hear what he expected.

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The district’s $37,921,551 budget won’t require a tax increase on the Adams County people. The expenditures, dancing around the same amount as last year, will be only about a million less than the district’s revenues.

The proposed budget starts the schools off with $24,737,661 in the bank, adds $36,994,231 in revenues plus some other financing sources, subtracts the $37 million in expenditures and ends the year with $23,868,861 and no need for a tax increase.

&uot;It’s not the intent of the Board of Trustees to ask for an amount that will increase the mills,&uot; Business Manager Margaret Parson said to the nearly empty room.

If things go as predicted, the schools will end the year with $868,800 less in the bank than when they started.

Since the board only calculates the number of mills they will need to meet budget and doesn’t directly raise ad valorem taxes, they couldn’t quote what the taxes will be.

Once the proposed budget receives board approval, it will be sent to the county, which tabulates the mills into tax dollars. The school millage rate will stay at 53.82, the amount set last year.

The district still received $715,914 less than full funding from the state Legislature.

This time last year, the board told a crowd only slightly larger than Monday’s that a 26 percent tax increase would be necessary to meet the proposed budget. Comments and complaints from the crowd sent the board back to the drawing board. When the final budget was passed a tax increase was still necessary, but was smaller than first expected. The total millage increase was 6.36.

Under funding from the state last year lead to the tax increase bringing the mills up to 53.28.

The document presented to the public Monday will go to the board on Thursday for final approval.