Corinth budget proposal includes no tax increase

By Lena Mitchell/NEMS Daily Journal

CORINTH – The proposed budget for fiscal year 2013 that Corinth residents will have a chance to comment on at Tuesday’s public hearing leaves tax rates unchanged from fiscal year 2012.
At 5 p.m. Tuesday, before the city board’s regular meeting, a public hearing is scheduled in city hall for the Board of Aldermen to receive any feedback city taxpayers have about the budget.
The total proposed budget of $9.96 million is based on improved sales tax collections in Corinth during the past year, and no ad valorem tax increase is proposed. The current tax rate of 95 mills includes the school tax, with a mill valued at $85,000.
As submitted, department budgets would have exceeded projected revenues, but department heads and City Clerk Vickie Road have worked on reducing those budgets, while leaving outside agency funding unchanged from last year.
Three agencies – Northeast Regional Library, Crossroads Regional Park and Corinth Area Convention and Visitors Bureau – receive their funding through special millage, and funding for those entities also has not been finalized.
A pay raise for city employees has been discussed at a previous budget work session, but no proposal or final decision came out of Wednesday’s budget work session.
Police Chief David Lancaster feels it’s particularly important to give his officers a raise since there were no raises last year.
It is frustrating, he said, that Corinth salaries for the police force lag behind other area departments, and he loses the time and money spent training recruits when they decide to go elsewhere.
A special meeting of the city board has been set for 1 p.m. Sept. 11, to adopt the final budget.
lena.mitchell@journalinc.com