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Animal control could cause county tax increase

By By Sheila Blackmon/The Meridian Star
Aug. 13, 2001
Even though Lauderdale County leaders don't plan to increase property taxes this year, the county administrator said they may have to do just that if they take over Meridian's animal control division.
County supervisors were expected to begin work today on their budget for the fiscal year that starts Oct. 1. Budget hearings were set for 9:30 a.m .-3:30 p.m. daily this week.
Supervisors have said recently that they will be monitoring county department budget requests closely to avoid unnecessary taxpayer expense.
Lauderdale County Tax Assessor Jimmy Slay said last month that personal property is up 4 percent and real property is up 3 percent over last year bringing the county more revenue.
Residents and business owners have had time to protest their property values.
Slay is set to give supervisors his final recommendation on the tax rolls this morning. At that point, Hiatt said, supervisors will know how much revenue the county is expected to receive next year from property taxes.
During the budget hearings, supervisors will study each department's funding requests. They will ask questions and give department heads a chance to defend their requests.
Supervisors will decide at their Aug. 20 meeting when to schedule a public hearing on the budget. They must adopt a final budget and set the county property tax rate by Sept. 15.
Sheila Blackmon is a staff writer for The Meridian Star. Call her at 693-1551, ext. 3275, or e-mail her at sblackmon@themeridianstar.com.