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franklin county times

Lauderdale County cash crunch

By Staff
INDUSTRIAL PARK INFRASTRUCTURE Ted Simmons, a crane operator for Kevin Coleman Construction, lifts part of a retaining wall last week from a mud-filled pit after completing work on part of a sewerage line that will serve the Meridian/Lauderdale County I-20/59 Industrial Park. Lauderdale County supervisors are working on a budget for the fiscal year that starts Oct. 1 and they don't know where they will find money to fund additional infrastructure improvements at the industrial park. Photo by Kyle Carter / The Meridian Star.
By Steve Gillespie / staff writer
August 29, 2004
At least three of the five Lauderdale County supervisors say they plan to support a property tax increase as part of the new budget for the fiscal year that starts Oct. 1.
Supervisors Eddie Harper of District 1, Jimmie Smith of District 2 and Joe Norwood of District 4 said they favor a tax increase because it's the only way the county can pay for extra expenses it faces next year.
Supervisor Craig Hitt of District 3 could not be reached for comment on a possible tax increase, while Supervisor Ray Boswell of District 5 vowed to vote against a tax increase.
Talk about a possible tax increase comes as Lauderdale County supervisors continue work on the new budget for the next fiscal year. Supervisors are expected to approve the budget next month.
The amount of a tax increase has not been determined. State law allows the county to raise property taxes up to 10 percent an amount that Norwood said would generate about $1.4 million.
Tony Green, Lauderdale County administrator, said a 10 percent increase would cost a county resident with a $100,000 home roughly $30 more a year in property tax. A resident with a $50,000 home would pay about $15 more.
Even though supervisors are still making cuts in next year's county budget, Green said he expects the final budget proposal to reflect a tax increase between 5 percent and 8 percent.
Boswell said he objects to a tax increase.
Smith said extra expenses next year require a tax increase.

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