New school budget could mean higher taxes

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - Hattiesburg residents could soon see higher taxes to fund city schools this fiscal year. Next week, the Hattiesburg School Board is set to vote on a new budget for fiscal year 2011, which could include a 3.25 mil increase in ad valorem taxes.

Tonight, the Board and district business manager Frank Aderholdt met with the public at a budget hearing. This year's proposed total budget is more than $58.1 million, up about $1.7 million over last year's budget.

"In past years, our millage rate has been higher than it is now and even with the projected increase, it's still not going to take us to where we've been in the past," said school board president Reverend Marcus Cathey. "I know some will be concerned about that, but we're looking at it real, real carefully and we'll make that decision finally next week," Cathey said.

"We hope that the School Board and the City will see fit not to increase the millage, so that our ad valorem taxes will not increase," said Brown Miller, a member of the Arcadia-Sunset Neighborhood Association, who attended the budget hearing. "We don't feel like they should at this time," Miller said.

The School Board could approve a resolution for an ad valorem tax increase at their August meeting, before presenting it to the City of Hattiesburg by August 15th.

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