No comments made on proposed tax increase from school district

Published 2:06 pm Wednesday, June 26, 2024

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NATCHEZ — No one from the public attended or offered any comments on the Natchez Adams School District Board of Trustees’ proposed tax increase during a public hearing Tuesday.

The school district advertised the public hearing as legally required, which took place at 3 p.m. Tuesday in the board room of the Braden Administration Building at 10 Homochitto St.

The proposed budget for the 2024-2025 fiscal year includes a 1 percent increase, or approximately $138,000 in ad valorem tax increase. The ad valorem taxes are paid by county residents for their homes, automobile tags, business fixtures and equipment and rental properties.

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No action on the budget was taken during Tuesday’s meeting. The school board may adopt the budget at the next scheduled meeting, which is at 4 p.m. on July 16.

The district is now operating with a budget of $80,393,790, which is inflated by Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief money allocated by the federal CARES Act which can only be expended according to strict federal guidelines. Of the total budget, 16 percent or $14,246,155 is obtained through ad valorem taxes. Next fiscal year’s budgeted revenue is expected to increase to $88,594,329. Of that amount, 16 percent or $14,384,162 is proposed to be financed through ad valorem taxes, which may result in an increase in the ad valorem tax millage rate.

The millage rate is adopted by the Adams County Supervisors and the school district is legally allowed to request up to a 7 percent increase in finances from the prior year.

The school district claims to have avoided requesting an increase in taxes since 2021, but said that in 2022 the district received approximately $340,000 less from the county than their requested tax levy of $14,237,156 due to an accounting error that the county made.

Therefore, when the district requested $14,246,155 for 2023, taxes increased.