Taxes may be going up in Philadelphia

The Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA, Miss. (AP) — Aldermen are considering a proposal to raise taxes as they prepare budget for 2014.

The Neshoba Democrat reports (http://bit.ly/1d0nJGUor) officials say the city has spent more than it has taken in for 6 consecutive years.

Mayor James Young says “tough” decisions have to be made.

Alderman Josh Gamblin initially suggest raising taxes by 10 mills, but the proposal was later reduced to 5 mills.

An additional 5 mills would generate about $274,500 for the city, adding about $50 to the property tax paid by the owner of a house valued at $100,000.

Aldermen are anticipating about a $500,000 shortfall before this fiscal year ends.

By law, they must adopt a fiscal 2014 budget by Sept. 15.

The board is considering other possible ways to tighten finances, including layoffs, selling assets and cutting employee benefits.

Alderman Cecil Nichols and Police Chief Bill Cox voiced concerns that the Police Department was already operating at minimal staffing, and urged the board to look elsewhere for cuts.

Deputy Fire Chief Steve Thomas told aldermen his department was already understaffed by the required fire rating status.

The city has not had a general ad valorem millage increase in more than 10 years except for fiscal 2006 when it was raised from 10.4 to 11 mills.

However, after reappraisal, the city dropped the millage to the current 10 mills in fiscal 2009.

The city has not funded the paving of a street in more than five years.