Tax levy adopted, budget proposed by Aldermen

Published 7:00 am Thursday, September 8, 2016

The Poplarville Board of Aldermen proposed a budget and adopted their tax levy for the 2017 fiscal year during Tuesday’s meeting.
Each year, the Pearl River County tax assessor provides what he anticipates the revenue will be for real property, personal property, mobile homes, motor vehicles and public utilities. These groups are what make up the ad valorem taxes, Jane O’Neal, Poplarville city clerk, said.
The Board adopted a tax levy totaling 54.5 mills, the same as the last fiscal year, which would not equate to a tax increase, according to the Board’s agenda.
When asked how there would be no increase to taxes by using last year’s millage when property assessments went up this year, O’Neal had to the following to say.
“A mill is estimated to equal to $16,654. The CPA recommends considering that you might only collect 85 to 90 percent of that. So you cannot assume that you will collect 100 percent of the money. Our budget is based on a 85 percent collection rate. So the total I calculated for the debt fund is 1.10 mill, which will equate to $18,319 for the debt service fund and the remaining 53.4 mills equates to $753,177.” O’Neal said. “Unless you decide to increase your taxes to fund your budget, which the Board has not decided to do, it remains the same. But that does not mean the revenue sources will not go up slightly just because the assessment has gone up.”
The total assessed property value in Poplarville is $16.7 million, which O’Neal said is a 12 percent increase from last year’s $14.8 million. To calculate the mills, O’Neal divided the total assessed property value by 1,000.
The 53.4 mills collected through ad valorem taxes support 34 percent, or $701,590, of the $2.1 million general fund budget. The debt service fund budget is estimated to be $17,799, which is 98 percent, or $17,382. That is being supported by 1.10 mills collected through ad valorem taxes.
Of the $2.1 million set aside for the general fund budget, $79,593 will fund the mayor and all Board members’ salaries; $73,650 will be used to fund the court system; and $201,737 will go toward administrative salaries.
The Poplarville Police Department will receive $723,920 of the general fund and the Poplarville Fire Department will receive $300,394.
Maintenance of city streets was budgeted at $346,744, garbage will be funded at $180,000 and the DARE and school resource officer budget was set at $65,967 of the general fund budget.
$21,017 will be used to fund code enforcement in the city, $54,900 goes toward funding parks, recreation and the public library and $21,560 will be used to fund the cemeteries in the city. The airport’s budget will be $8,760.
Other expenses, separate from the general fund, include a water fund and forfeiture fund. The water fund is an enterprise fund and therefore self-funded, the meeting agenda states. The forfeiture fund also supports itself through seizures of the property involved in criminal activity.
The Board will call a special meeting on Sept. 13 at 5 p.m. for the purpose of adopting the budget for the fiscal year ending on Sept. 30, 2017.
More topics of discussion during the Board of Aldermen’s meeting will be covered in Friday’s edition of the Item.

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