Based on recent figures, the city of Yazoo City has seen in increase in sales tax collection, but the poverty level remains one of the highest in the state.
During a recent budget proposal hearing with the Board of Mayor and Aldermen, many citizens left the meeting with concerns over the city’s tax base and a number of pay raises that will come with the upcoming fiscal year budget.
Taxes for Yazoo City residents will increase by 4.21 mills for the upcoming fiscal year budget. The total millage rate for the city of Yazoo City will increase from 82.37 mills to 85.55 mills.
Last year’s millage rate of 82.37 ranked Yazoo City has the eleventh highest millage rate in the state, based on the Mississippi Department of Revenue. It is unknown as to where the city will rank in the 2019/2020 budget until all proposals are formally approved.
Also, over a ten-year period, the city of Yazoo City has increased it taxes for a total of 11.81 mills.
A recent Census report also shows that the city of Yazoo City has a staggering poverty rate of 49 percent, compared to 22.6 percent statewide.
Despite the poverty levels, the city of Yazoo City has seen an increase in its sales tax collection. The Mississippi Department of Revenue shows an 11.8 percent increase in sales tax collection within Yazoo City from 2017 until 2018. In 2017, the city reported $1,771,121 in sales tax collection. In 2018, that figure increased to $1,980,271.
Most citizens at the recent budget hearing took issue that in the midst of tax increase for citizens, the city council approved a number of pay raises among its officials and department heads.
The recent budget proposal would include a three percent pay raise to the city aldermen’s $26,155 annual salary. However, Alderman Sir Johnathan Rucker declined his pay raise, and Aldermen Aubry Brent Jr. and Andre Lloyd will cap their annual salaries at 11,000 since they are receiving state retirement. Alderman Ron Johnson will be accepting an increase in his salary.
The aldermen of Yazoo City are the third highest paid in the state. Based a recent survey by the Mississippi Municipal League, the average salary for an alderman within Yazoo City’s population range is $17,088.
Mayor Diane Delaware will not see an increase in her $75,703 annual salary. The same state municipal league survey shows that the average salary of a mayor within Yazoo City’s population range is $66,788.
All department heads will also see a pay raise in the upcoming budget. However, city employees will not see more in their salaries.