By Emily Le Coz/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – With a unanimous vote Tuesday, the city kicked off its 2012 budget planning season.
Not as much fun as deer hunting season, perhaps, but it’s a necessary process that determines how Tupelo will earn and spend roughly $35 million.
City Council members adopted what’s called a budget calendar – a series of dates by which certain budget preparation steps must be completed.
The budget itself must be adopted no later than Sept. 15. It goes into effect Oct. 1.
“We’ll be following this as close as we can as we go through this process,” said council President Fred Pitts.
Council members will spend most of the month of August poring over the budget, including the financial requests of each municipal department.
Department heads must submit requests by Friday. They’ll be scrutinized by Chief Financial Officer Lynn Norris and Mayor Jack Reed Jr. before going to the council.
“We’ve been working, actually, the last two months with the departments,” said Mayor Jack Reed Jr.
Most of Tupelo’s revenues come from sales tax collections, which have been down the past few years. As a result, the city has trimmed both staff and non-essential spending.
That trend is expected to continue into 2012. But, as of July, city officials haven’t publicly mentioned any possibility of a tax increase.
Tupelo’s 32.47 millage rate hasn’t increased since 2006.