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Natchez aldermen adopt $33.4 million budget

NATCHEZ — City of Natchez officials adopted a $33.4 million budget for the 2020-2021 fiscal year on Friday.

Due to economic hardships associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, Natchez Mayor Dan Gibson said the city had to postpone several needed equipment purchases and project expenses.

However, Gibson said he was glad the city was able to adopt a balanced budget without having to furlough city employees to make up for losses in sales and gaming taxes this fiscal year.

“We are proud to be adopting a balanced budget,” Gibson said. “… We are holding down on purchases and hope that purchases that we budgeted for this year we’ll be able to make next year.”

The city’s adopted budget shows total projected revenues at $33,466,820 over $32,548,280 worth of expenses leaving a projected surplus of $918,540.

As of Aug. 31, the city has total revenues of $29,091,435 and total expenses of $25,695,982.

The city budgeted for a $200,000 decrease in sales tax revenue and a $114,600 increase in ad valorem revenue, which Gibson said resulted from new construction in the city.

“We actually are seeing some new construction projects on the books. There are some underway right now,” he said.

During a special-called meeting Sept. 1, the Natchez Mayor and Board of Aldermen adopted an ad valorem tax levy, which carries no increase or decrease for the 2020-2021 fiscal year.

The total adopted millage for the City of Natchez is 46.732 where one mil is equal to $1 per $1,000 of a property’s assessed value.

The budget also includes the city taking out a tax anticipation loan for up to $1,000,000 and $238,000 worth of equipment loans.

The budget was adopted by a vote of 4-0 with Ward 2 Alderman Billie Joe Frazier and Ward 4 Alderwoman Felicia Bridgewater-Irving absent.

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