School district may lower its millage request

Published 12:00 am Friday, June 26, 2009

NATCHEZ — Based on preliminary numbers, the Natchez-Adams School Board may be lowering its millage request.

But school officials told a handful of attendants at Thursday’s public budget hearing that nothing has been finalized yet.

The district doesn’t yet know the value of a mil — the unit of measurement assigned to county property taxes.

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And without a final state budget, the district doesn’t know what state money will becoming its way.

However based on tentative figures delivered to the school board late Thursday regarding the value of a mil, the amount of millage the board requests from the Adams County Board of Supervisors should decrease, NASD Business Manager Margaret Parson said.

“It would go down based on what we’ve seen so far,” Parson of the millage.

However just what the value of that millage is still isn’t known.

Due to state-mandated property re-assessments, which impact the value of a mil, the value of the mil will go up this year.

Adams County Tax Assessor Reynolds Atkins said some residents could contest the amount they’re taxed and other extenuating circumstances could change his preliminary evaluation.

And the school board might not be the only entity poised to lower millage.

Adams County Supervisor Mike Lazarus, who was in attendance, said the county board is also considering lowering the millage it levies on county residents due to re-assessments.

The school board, based on estimation, will run the district on a $40.3 million budget for the coming year, of which 27 percent comes from millage.

Parson said until the district receives a firm answer from the county and state, the budget won’t be finalized.

The board has until August to make its final millage request from the county board.

Three members of the public, and several district employees, attended the meeting asking questions about school expenditures and the student teacher ratio within the district.

And the board’s need for more information before having and accurate idea of next year’s budget was not lost on the audience.

“It’s superfluous to be here right now,” Armando Ricci, a county resident said from the back row.