Alcorn County raises taxes; president cites previous cuts

CORINTH – Alcorn County residents’ taxes will increase for fiscal year 2010, and four county residents attended Tuesday’s public hearing to ask why.
Supervisors approved a budget in which residents will see a 2.81 mill increase in the base rate that drives taxes on property and car tags, going from 53.66 mills to 56.47 mills.
Additionally, the county school district is increasing its taxes by 1.52 mills, going from 45.24 mills to 46.76 mills, for a total county tax of 103.23 mills.
“What I want to know is why taxes were raised again this year when they were raised last year,” said Charlotte Mills. She noted that several taxes are going up – county, schools, tags and even her town of Farmington – but income is not.
A key reason for increases in both the current and the coming fiscal years, board President Gary Ross said, is a decision by the previous board to significantly lower taxes in the 2007-2008 fiscal year.
Since the county is limited by law on how much it can raise taxes in one year, Ross said, increases were necessary two consecutive years to bring the county’s funding back to the level it had been in 2007.
Mills’ questions and concerns were echoed by L.D. “Bud” Cox and his son, Jerry Cox, and also Corinth businessman Steve Simmons.
The county also added 1 mill to implement the tuition guarantee program to supplement any county high school graduate who wants to go on to college, 0.3 mills for Crossroads Regional Park and 1 mill to repay money borrowed for land purchases in connection with Kimberly-Clark access road construction.
For the fiscal year beginning Oct. 1 and ending Sept. 30, 2010, the county will operate on a total budget of almost $14.5 million.

Contact Lena Mitchell at (662) 287-9822 or lena.mitchell@djournal.com.

Lena Mitchell/NEMS Daily Journal