Jones County residents could see a tax increase - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

Jones County residents could see a tax increase

JONES COUNTY, MS (WDAM) -

The Jones County School District said it can no longer make its county bond indebtedness payments.

On Thursday, school officials asked supervisors to pass the bill on to the taxpayers.

Superintendent Tommy Parker said "The funding balances have been spent down, money has been taken from varies funds and we are to the point and time now where we have to have help to maintain providing the services to our students here in Jones County.

Parker said in 2007, 93 percent of Jones County residents voted in favor the 37 million dollar bond issue.

In 2006, the then, Superintendent Thomas Prine said the bond issue will not raise taxes for residents, because its payoff would come from funds appropriated through the Mississippi Adequate Education Program.

The MEAP cut $4.5 million out of the district's budget. The district is currently receiving $37 million from the MEAP and an additional $14 million for the county; however, Parker said that is still not enough to make it's annual payment of $2.8 million towards the county bond indebtedness.

Parker added "We are almost to the point now where any additional cuts that we make are going to affect our classroom."

Parker said the district's operating budget will remain at roughly $47 million but the total budget which includes its county bond indebtedness payments will be around $71 million.
The milage rate for taxpayers is currently at 53 mils and officials say it will have to increase by an additional 10 mils to meet the $2 point 8 million dollar bond indebtedness payments.

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