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franklin county times

County schools seek tax increase

By By Steve Gillespie / staff writer
June 24, 2002
Even though Lauderdale County School District officials say they will eliminate jobs to save money, they also plan to request a tax increase for the next school year.
Despite that, some county residents could see their annual tax bill decrease because of property reappraisal and an increase in homestead exemption of up to $300.
Details about the school district budget are expected to be discussed at a 5 p.m. public hearing today in the school district's administrative office.
The office is in the Raymond P. Davis Annex of the Lauderdale County Courthouse at 410 Constitution Ave.
The county school district is proposing to raise its millage rate by .82 mills, from 46.41 mills to 47.23 mills. That move is expected to increase tax revenues from $6.5 million to $7 million.
A millage rate is the amount of tax paid per dollar on assessed value of property. One mill is one-tenth of 1 cent; for each mill, a taxpayer pays $1 for every $1,000 of assessed value.
David Little, Lauderdale County school superintendent, said the increase comes at a time when he is trying to save money by reducing the size of his staff.
Charlotte Parker, the school district's financial director, said the tax-rate increase is the smallest the district has asked for in five years.
The district's debt service tax rate will remain at 3 mills, with money generated used to pay for new school busses the district bought.
Little said the increase in the tax rate will be for the operational budget to help fund the Mississippi Adequate Education Program a program the Legislature didn't fully fund.
Money from the Adequate Education Program helps fund teacher salaries, textbooks, classroom supplies and transportation.
This year, the school district spent $2.9 million on the program; next year, Parker said, the district is expected to spend $3.3 million.
SCHOOL TAXES
A millage rate is the amount of tax paid per dollar on assessed value of property. One mill is one-tenth of 1 cent; for each mill, a taxpayer pays $1 for every $1,000 of assessed value.
If the current tax rate for county residents remains the same and the school district's .82 mill increase is factored in, home owners could be affected as follows.
Value of home Tax last year Tax this year Difference
NOTE: The assessed values in these examples are based on Class I single-family dwellings, with homestead exemption included. Taxpayers could see a reduction in property taxes based on property reappraisal and an increase in homestead exemption of up to $300.
SOURCE:Lauderdale County Tax Assessor Jimmy Slay

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