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County’s Tax Rate Drops, Schools Are Up

By David Howell

COFFEEVILLE – Yalobusha supervisors adopted a $7,701,309 budget for the coming fiscal year that included a slight tax decrease, but taxpayers will see an overall higher tax rate after both school districts in the county requested more money.
    Supervisors noted that much of the budget increase coming from the schools was requested to fund state mandated teachers’ pay raises.
    The county’s millage rate decreased just over a third of a mill after the levy for the courthouse renovation bond fund had a surplus. In the Water Valley School District, the overall levies requested by the school were a 1.74 mill increase. In Coffeeville, the overall levies requested by the district were a 2.41 mills increase.
    “Are most of these increases from teachers’ pay raises mandated by the state,” Board President Tommy Vaughn asked as the county’s tax levy was adopted.
    “As I understand it, yes,” Chancery Clerk Amy McMinn answered.
    McMinn also noted that anytime the assessed value of the county increases, generating more money for the schools, the state lowers their funding level respectively.
    “It places more of a burden on the local tax base,” she explained.                Only county officials were in attendance for the advertised public hearing on the budget held Monday that preceded the adoption of the budget for the fiscal year that gets underway in October. The budget increased almost $100,000 over the current fiscal year and included a $50 monthly pay raise for all non-elected county employees. The budget also included a state-mandated pay increase for a number of elected officials.
    “I appreciate all of the board’s effort on keeping from raising taxes again in the county. It’s an effort by all five of us, with the help of Tony (Green) and everybody else,” Vaughn said Monday.
    Green is employed by North Central Planning and Development and is the number cruncher who helps the county prepare the budget each year. As in past years, Green noted that the county had a healthy bottom line.

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