Schools must offer explanation

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The utterance of the phrase “tax increase” has about the same tenor as a dentist’s drill to most American ears.

Perhaps that has led the TEA (Taxed Enough Already) Party to rise so rapidly in the national political arena.

The feeling of being “taxed enough” isn’t one solely focused on national matters.

Local governments are increasingly under taxpayer scrutiny as the threat of increased taxes begins to spin into a loud, high-pitched whir.

All across the Miss-Lou, local governments are starting to feel the pinch as state grants and other funding sources have become a mere trickle of previous years.

Natchez-Adams School District leaders are proposing a nearly 3-mil tax increase, expected to generate approximately $670,000 in funds for the public school district. School leaders point out that the increase pales in comparison to state funding cuts of approximately $5.7 million since 2005.

With the proposed tax increase, next year’s budget will be approximately $43.5 million, with some $11.4 million coming from property taxes.

Adams County taxpayers will have a chance to express their feelings on the tax increase at a public hearing scheduled for 4 p.m. on Thursday at the Braden Central Office on Homochitto Street.

District officials would be wise to explain, publicly, exactly how and why the tax increases are needed and to provide a commitment to ensuring as many of the district’s dollars will stay in our community as is possible.

We don’t doubt the tax increase may be needed, however, at least at this point, the district has not yet explained its position to those footing the bill.