Ad: City will not raise taxes

Published 12:00 am Thursday, August 26, 2010

NATCHEZ — City Clerk Donnie Holloway says a tax increase notice published in Wednesday’s edition of The Democrat is not cause for concern.

A public hearing is set for 5 p.m. Sept. 2 at the City Council Chambers on Pearl Street for a proposed ad valorem increase of zero.

Holloway said the city is required by law to advertise tax increase notices two weeks before a public hearing, even if the city does not propose a tax increase.

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“There are no tax increases,” Holloway reiterated. “It’s confusing, but that’s just the way the state makes you do it.”

According to the notice, the City of Natchez now operates on a projected budget of $22,050,822, of which $6,320,300 is obtained through ad valorem taxes.

For this upcoming fiscal year, the projected budget is $26,885,104, of which $6,426,568, is projected toa be obtained through ad valorem taxes. Holloway said the upcoming fiscal year budget numbers are based on last year’s assessment.

Though Adams County Tax Assessor Reynolds Atkins reports a 4 percent decrease in the amount the county expects to collect from property taxes this year, the numbers do not affect the city.

The City of Natchez is projecting an increase of $106,258 in property taxes this upcoming fiscal year.

Atkins said because the county and city are separate entities, decreased property values and company tax exemptions outside the city limits could explain why the city is projecting higher revenues this year.

Due to a state-mandated property reassessment last year, the value of one mill in the City of Natchez increased from $104,000 to $113,000, meaning taxpayers’ costs did, in fact, increase.

The Natchez Board of Aldermen voted last year to keep their millage rate at 42.732 mills due to the property reassessment.