Carroll County taxpayers will not see a tax millage increase this year.
The Carroll County Board of Supervisors voted to approved the propose fiscal year 2019 budget following a public hearing at 9 a.m. Tuesday. The budget was adopted following a unanimous 4-0 vote, behind a Beat 1 Supervisor Jim Neill motion and a Beat 5 Supervisor Dill Tucker second.
The board approved next year’s millage rate of 105.21 mills, the same as last year.
Only one citizen spoke out in the public hearing, mainly to ask about state-funding to repair Carroll County’s infrastructure.
According to Tony Green, budget specialist with North Central Planning and Development District, a millage increase is not necessary to fund proposed increases in the various county departments as well as Carroll County School District’s funding request.
“Requests were a little bit less than last year,” Green said. “The schools request was just under last year’s request.”
The value of the county also increased this year, making the value of one mill more than it was last year. So the county will see more revenue in ad valorem taxes this year, even without a millage rate increase.
According to Green, the total value of the county increased this year from $84,271,482 last year to $86,820,298 this year, an increase of $2,548,816. One mill now equals $76,444, up $2,310 from last year.
Funding increases in personal services were required in nearly every department this year due to a new state mandate increasing the employer match for state retirement from 15.75 percent to 17.4 percent. This requirement will go into effect on July 1, 2019, so this year’s budget will only fund the increase for the last quarter of the fiscal year.
Green said a there is not a proposed pay increases for all county employees, but there are some salary increases in various departments to accommodate merit increases and proposed new hires.
“The majority of the county’s departments show no increases [in the proposed budget],” Green said.
Green said Carroll County’s financial health looks good.
“Cash reserves are in good shape,” Green said.
In other county business:
• Beat 4 Supervisor Claude Fluker asked the board to help him come up with a formal request for funding to help repair the county’s aging watershed lake dams from the federal government by contacting Senator Roger Wicker’s (R-Mississippi) office and on the state level by contacting Senator Lydia Chassaniol’s (R-Winona) office.
Neill explained that there is currently federal and state funding to repair the levees on two of the county’s watershed lakes, Bailey Lake and Walker Lake, however, the county cannot afford to take on the maintenance of those dams permanently, so the funds have been put on hold.