Hattiesburg council eyes tax increase to improve roads

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - Residents in the City of Hattiesburg may foot the bill for city street improvements.

That depends on whether the city council approves a 1.85 millage increase in the proposed budget.

"We've got some issues with our business that we need to improve before we can look to the people and ask them to pay more money," said council president Kim Bradley, who is opposed to the tax increase.

Bradley said there are other avenues that would collect one million dollars to begin the paving project. He said "tightening the belt" on spending and making sure fine collections are efficient would be just a few ways to locate those extra funds.

"That money could stay in general fund and could be used to do these paving and infrastructure improvements," Bradley explained. "It's just a matter of doing business properly."

It was clear at last Tuesday's budget hearing that road improvements were at the top of council members' to-do list for the city, and the mayor supported those opinions.

"We've not had a comprehensive paving program in several years because we have not had the funds," said Hattiesburg Mayor Johnny DuPree. "Hopefully in this budget we'll have at least a million dollars or more that we can go in and continue that paving project."

The council is scheduled to vote on the budget next Tuesday, September 16 at 5 p.m.

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