With a slim crowd at this week’s public hearing, city leaders approved the new tax millage rate at 75.32 mills for the upcoming fiscal year.
The Board of Mayor and Aldermen will raise taxes 3.84 mills for the 2016 budget.
Mayor Diane Delaware and Alderman Gregory Robertson were absent during Monday’s public hearing. But the millage rate was set with no opposition from Aldermen Dr. Jack Varner, Aubry Brent Jr. and Ron Johnson.
“I feel pretty good about the upcoming year’s budget,” Brent said. “For a few years, the city was really scuffling with its money. But I think this budget will work out fine.”
The increased millage comes from a 2.26 millage increase from the Yazoo City Municipal School District. The school district’s request increased from 50.65 mills to 52.91 mills.
During a past meeting between city and school officials, interim superintendent Lucille Lovette said the district’s increased budget will address attendance measurements, teacher recruitment, academic improvement and technological advancements.
In a millage breakdown, the school district’s 52.91 millage will cover:
• 43.31 mills for school purposes
• 7.93 mills in school bonds, interests
• 1.67 mills in school negotiations
The Board of Mayor and Aldermen increased the city’s millage rate by 1.58 mills, from 73.74 mills to 75.32 mills.
“We raised the millage rate in anticipation of having to collect our own taxes,” Brent said. “The 1.58 mill increase would cover purchasing the needed software and hiring the necessary employees to collect our own taxes.”
Some citizens have questioned the cost of recent renovations within the mayor’s office. Brent said those renovations were covered by grant money.
“The mayor’s budget is the same amount as it was last year,” Brent added.
Brent also plans to look at the pay scale of some city employees in the 2016 fiscal year.
“I hope that we can figure out a way to give our employees at least the $8.50 an hour minimus wage,” he said.
In a millage breakdown, the city’s 75.32 millage will cover:
• 56.46 mills in general purposes
• 10.91 mills in municipal bonds, interests
• 3.91 mills in firemen and policemen disability, relief fund
• 2.75 mills in parks and recreation
• 1.29 mills in Ricks Memorial Library