New jail causes tax increase in Forrest County

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - Folks in Forrest County will have to spend a little more money on property tax as millage rates are now set to go up.

The Forrest County Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday morning to raise the tax by about 3.6 mills. That means anyone paying $1,000 in property tax a year will be hit with about a $36 increase. Supervisors say the hike is because of operational costs at the new county jail which is costing about $3 million more to operate than the old one. The county is one of a few in the area that must operate and maintain a regional jail and board president David Hogan says more employees are needed. Due to the costs and the jail being mandated, Hogan says there was no other choice.

"The board's hands were really tied in that regard. These operation costs are a part of the new facility. It's a larger facility, it's more complex. It meets all those federal guidelines and therefore it's costing the taxpayers more to operate." said Hogan.

The tax hike is part of the new budget which will take effect Oct. 1.

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