Tupelo council likely to discuss budget next week

Tupelo StockBy Robbie Ward
Daily Journal

TUPELO – Tupelo City Council members may receive a copy of Mayor Jason Shelton’s proposed budget on Monday and meet later in the week to discuss it.

Council president Nettie Davis said the council will hold a budget meeting on Wednesday at 3:30 p.m. to discuss the proposed budget that must be passed by Sept. 15.

“A copy of the budget will be passed out at the work session on Monday,” Davis said. “There may be changes and questions.”

However, Shelton used less concrete language on Wednesday when discussing when the council will get a copy of his proposed budget and said he was hesitant to say when it would be released.

“It’s a complicated process,” he said. “We’re hoping to have it ready by Monday.”

With a month before the deadline for approval, the city’s elected leaders face approving a fiscal year 2014 budget with predictions of no sales tax growth and the only increase in property taxes coming from recently annexed areas.

Shelton is opposed to any tax increases and has said he wants to balance the budget without selling bonds or dipping into the city’s reserves.

Shelton, elected in June, said his budget will reflect his plans to create an in-house city attorney position instead of contracting all legal services to an outside firm.

Some City Council members have voiced concern about the percentage of personnel costs in the overall budget, while others have said they have no desire to decrease the number of city employees.

robbie.ward@journalinc.com