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NASD requests less revenue than last year

 

NATCHEZ — The Natchez-Adams School Board voted Wednesday to request less money in taxes than it requested last year.

Board members unanimously approved a request to the county for $13,336,052 in ad valorem taxes for the 2018-2019 fiscal year. The amount is approximately $417,000 less in ad valorem revenue than the $13,754,000 the district requested for the 2017-2018 fiscal year.

The $417,000 reduction could result in a tax break for residents when Adams County Supervisors approve the county millage for the 2018-2019 tax year.

NASD business manager Monica Anderson said the county millage could be lowered from 51.48 mils to 50.52 mils.

The board came to this decision after choosing to table the agenda item Monday until further review of their budget for the 2018 to 2019 fiscal year.

Superintendent Fred Butcher said The Natchez Democrat incorrectly reported in Wednesday’s edition that the district was considering a tax increase. Comments from board members discussing the matter during a Tuesday meeting led to the confusion.

Even though the school district asked for $13.75 million last year, revenue from taxes has lagged behind expectations. The school district expects to collect $13.05 million for the 2017-2018 fiscal year — $700,000 less than was anticipated.

Monday, school board members discussed a 2- to 4-percent increase from actual revenue raised during the 2017-2018 year. An increase of 2 to 4 percent in revenue would still be less than what the board requested last year and would not result in a tax rate increase.

Board members voted Wednesday to submit a request for a 2-percent increase, which would be nearly $417,000 less than the $13,754,000 they requested last tax year.

Anderson said the district budgeted its tax dollars to allow room for a cut to tax revenue even though assessed property values decreased by $3 million in the county.

“We are requesting less money this year than we did last year,” Butcher said. “In a normal situation when the assessed (property) values go down, you would ask for more money to equalize what you’re losing. We’re not doing that. We’re asking for $417,000 less than what we asked for last year.”

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