Lee County supervisors plan limited 911 tax hike

Lee County StockBy Robbie Ward
Daily Journal

TUPELO – Lee County Board of Supervisors president Bobby Smith said Monday that county taxpayers shouldn’t expect more than a modest tax increase in the Fiscal Year 2014 budget to upgrade the county’s aging 911 radio system, an action approved earlier this year.

Supervisors approved county tax rolls Monday, which allow county officials to proceed in crafting next year’s fiscal year budget required by state law to pass by Sept. 15.

Supervisors have said they do not anticipate a tax increase beyond the 1.5 mills or less related to a $7.5 million 911 communications radio upgrade. That increase will cost about $15 more for taxpayers whose property is valued at $100,000.

The bulk of revenue for county government comes from property taxes and car tags.

Smith said the property tax roll approved shows likely an increase in revenue but “not enough to make a difference.” He said the board will likely approve a budget similar to the current $37 million budget.

Organizations and programs not funded in the current budget may not receive funding in the coming fiscal year. Some county residents appeared at a supervisors meeting earlier this month in support of county tax dollars supporting misdemeanor drug court, which no longer receives funding from the state.

“It doesn’t appear anything new will show up on the radar,” Smith said.

Supervisors will hold a public hearing Sept. 6 related to the budget.

In recent years, county officials have limited budgets of departments to hold the line on spending. Smith said the county’s road department has had cuts that he’d like restored in coming years.

robbie.ward@journalinc.com