Hattiesburg council amends budget following judges ruling

By Jeff Daley – email

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - The Hattiesburg City Council met in special session Thursday afternoon and voted to amend their 2011 budget. This after Circuit Court Judge Bob Helfrich ruled against them earlier in the day in their dispute with the Hattiesburg School Board.

The School Board took the council to court after they were denied their request for an additional $600,000 for their 2011 budget. The board contended the council acted against state law in voting down their request for the additional funds.

In his ruling Judge Helfrich told the court, "the budget submitted by the School Board is well with-in the 55 mill cap set by the legislature.  The language of the statute says the levying body shall levy the millage required to meet that money.  It is the opinion of this court that the law requires the Council to set the millage to meet the budget as approved and adopted by the school district."

School Board president Marcus Cathey says he is delighted with the ruling.

"We thought the law was very clear that we are with-in our rights and the city council over stepped their bounds and the court agreed with us so we're very excited about it," said Cathey.

With the changes to the budget property owners can expect an increase of two mil taking the millage rate from 52 to 54.


Copyright 2010 WDAM. All rights reserved.