No tax increase planned for city

Published 12:46 am Sunday, September 9, 2018


NATCHEZ — The Natchez Mayor and Board of Aldermen presented a newly revised budget for the 2019 fiscal year at a budget hearing Friday evening and approved an amended budget the fiscal year nearly completed.

CPA Wallace Collins said the proposed amended budget for the 2018 fiscal year shows a surplus of $160,118.74 in the general fund, with $15,074,589.52 in revenue and $14,914,470.78 in expenditures.

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In the year to date amount, the city had revenue of $13,703,599.72 and expenditures of $13,304,376.72, leaving a surplus of $399,223.

The proposed millage for the 2019 fiscal year is the same as last year — 46.732 mils (last year’s millage rate included a 4 mil increase over the previous year) — and the projected 2019 fiscal year budget shows estimated revenue of $15,633,500 and expenditures of $15,631,546 in the general fund.

This leaves a conservative projected surplus of $1,954, Collins said, which is subject to change before the budget is approved.

Officials heard a few concerns from citizens during Friday’s budget hearing, the first from Natchez-Adams County Humane Society representative, Robert Green.

“It’s almost $60,000 (each year) to take care of animals in the city,” Green said. “A lot of them are strays that are in bad condition, so we have to treat these animals.”

Natchez Mayor Darryl Grennell asked aldermen to consider providing funds for NACHS as they proceed through the 2019 fiscal year.

“If we perceive this fiscal year that our revenues come in higher, please consider to provide additional funding for the humane society,” Grennell said.

Robert Adams addressed the recent fire at the Prentiss Club building on Sunday and asked the board to consider requesting help from the Vidalia Fire Department, which officials have already done, Grennell said.

“Just this week, we had a meeting with Mayor Buz Craft to develop some synergies with the city of Vidalia as they relate to extinguishing a fire,” Grennell said.

Paul Benoist and his wife Ginny both expressed concerns about the population decline in the city.

In response, Alderwoman Sarah Carter Smith said the board is making its best effort.

“There are things that we think are a quick fix … but it’s actually not a quick fix,” Smith said. “It’s a long process. We always welcome your ideas. Come to all of the meetings. … Let’s be transparent with it all. … It looks as though we’re working against each other trying to make changes when I think we can work together to try and make changes.”

The board will conduct another public hearing on the fiscal year 2018-2019 budget with three minutes each allotted for public comments during the 11 a.m. Tuesday regular meeting of the mayor and board of aldermen at City Council Chambers, 115 S. Pearl St., Natchez.