County: No plans to raise taxes

Published 12:04 am Tuesday, September 1, 2015

NATCHEZ — The Adams County Board of Supervisors is not planning to raise taxes in the coming fiscal year, but it does anticipate nearly $2 million more in revenue in the coming year.

The board met Monday morning to discuss the proposed budget for fiscal year 2016, and Adams County Administrator Joe Murray said the ad valorem millage rate would not change under the proposed budget.

The current and proposed millage rate is 116.51 mills. While the millage rate will stay the same, a property owner could pay more in taxes if their property has been assessed at a higher value for the coming year.

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The county’s 2015 budget is operating with a projected total revenue of $23,848,086. A total of $13,707,748 — or 57.48 percent — of that revenue is generated by ad valorem taxes.

For the 2016 fiscal year, the budget has a projected revenue of $25,584,570. Approximately $15,087,775 — or 58.96 percent — of that revenue is expected to come from the county’s levy of ad valorem taxes.

Murray said the increase in revenue came from a general increase in the total assessment of the county.

But Murray also said that losses in other areas of revenue and some increases in expenses mean the increase in ad valorem revenue will more or less even out.

Revenue losses include the projected loss of gaming revenue with the announced closure of the Isle of Capri Casino and cost increases include as a $300,000 note the county for a capital improvement bond it took out last year, among others, Murray said.

Before the county board adopts the final budget for the 2016 fiscal year, it will have a public hearing for residents of the county to express their thoughts about the proposal.

The meeting will be at 5:30 p.m. Sept. 10 in the board room on the first floor of the Adams County Administration Building at 314 State St.

The final adoption of the budget and the official setting of the tax millage will be 9 a.m. Sept. 15 in the board room at the county office.

At Monday’s meeting the supervisors tentatively approved the budget for advertisement purposes, though the official numbers may change.

Under the current budget, the county is expected to end the fiscal year with a cash balance of $900,000, approximately $300,000 more than the previous year.

The county has in the past taken a hit to its bond rating when analysts observed low cash balances at the end of the year.

In other news:

4The board met in executive session to discuss the job performance of county employees and to discuss the termination of a county employee.

The board adopted a letter of support to Humana to show its support for the City of Natchez’s participation in the Clinton Health Initiative.