School district budget presented at public hearing

Published 10:27 am Wednesday, June 28, 2023

NATCHEZ — The Natchez Adams School District Board of Trustees presented its proposed budget and ad valorem tax levy during a special called meeting Tuesday morning in the Braden Administration Building.

Of the district’s current $71,169,220 budget, 20 percent or $14,246,155 is obtained through ad valorem taxes. The projected budget revenue for the next fiscal year is $80,393,790, of which it is proposed that the same amount, $14,246,155, be obtained through ad valorem taxes.

Therefore, the district is not increasing its tax request.

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The district’s revenue comes largely from federal and state sources. The district anticipates $45.5 million of its revenue to come from federal sources and $19.5 million from state sources.

Property — such as buildings, equipment and furnishings — and salaries make up the district’s largest expenses. Projected property expenses are calculated at $23.4 million and projected salary expenses are $21.9 million.

In the previous two years, the district’s ad valorem tax levies were $14,237,156 in 2021 and $13,955,634 in 2022. Millage rates went up from the fiscal year 2021-2022 to the current fiscal year from 50.79 to 51.23 mills.

Additionally, assessed property values increased from $287,103,786 in 2021 to $295,712,285 in 2022 and are increasing again to $324,837,736 in 2023, according to the school board’s report.

Tim Byrd, the district’s business finance manager, said per pupil expenses in 2022 were up $16,560 compared to $15,392 in 2021.

However, compared with other school districts in the state, NASD ranked 20 with the highest per-pupil expenses and last year ranked 17.

“The higher our rank, the lower our cost in relation to the other school districts in the state, so that is it’s a positive trend,” Byrd said.

No action on the budget was taken during Tuesday’s meeting.