Tax increase could be on the way in Ocean Springs - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Tax increase could be on the way in Ocean Springs

A tax hike may be on the way in Ocean Springs. Some members of the board of aldermen have proposed bringing back a two mil property tax increase that was taken out of the budget six years ago.  (Photo source: WLOX) A tax hike may be on the way in Ocean Springs. Some members of the board of aldermen have proposed bringing back a two mil property tax increase that was taken out of the budget six years ago. (Photo source: WLOX)
If the tax hike happens, city workers would benefit. Most of them have received only one permanent pay raise in the past several years. (Photo source: WLOX) If the tax hike happens, city workers would benefit. Most of them have received only one permanent pay raise in the past several years. (Photo source: WLOX)
The average homeowner in the city would pay about $40 more a year, bringing in about $2 million for the city. (Photo source: WLOX) The average homeowner in the city would pay about $40 more a year, bringing in about $2 million for the city. (Photo source: WLOX)
OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) -

A tax hike may be on the way in Ocean Springs. Some members of the board of aldermen have proposed bringing back a two mil property tax increase that was taken out of the budget six years ago. It would mean the average homeowner in the city would pay about $40 more a year, bringing in about $2 million for the city.

If the tax hike happens, city workers would benefit. Most of them have received only one permanent pay raise in the past several years. That suits Alecia Puzz, out doing the weekly grocery shopping, just fine.

"I don't have a problem with $40 a year for taxes, if it's going towards the city employees. That's good," Puzz said.

In addition to possible raises, public safety and public works equipment could be upgraded. Tracey Carter, out for her morning walk, sees the need.

"I think it would be a good idea. As long as it's going towards helping the city workers' income, increase city workers' income," Carter explained.

But not everyone agrees. Rudy Fink was enjoying coffee and talking business this morning.

"I don't think it's a good idea. I don't think that we're undertaxed. I think we have the highest taxes on the Gulf Coast. I really don't believe that we need it,” Fink said.

Ray Carroll's job is cleaning up around businesses. What does he think of a tax increase?

"I'm all for it. I really believe that we need to do it. If it's going to help our policemen and firemen and stuff, we definitely need to do it. Because a lot of them are leaving because there's not enough money."

I talked with several residents of the city, both on camera and off. There seemed to be two general feelings. Number one, $40 bucks a year isn't that much to pay. And number two, when they found out most of the money would be used for city employee pay raises, they seemed to agree with it even more.

That's how Joe Ellen Walker feels, watching her grandkids frolic at the splash pad.

"I think they all deserve it. The city employees, fire and police. They all do a great job. They are out here working now, the city employees so I think it looks really good."

The idea of bringing back the two mil increase was first brought up at last week's board of aldermen meeting. It could come up again Tuesday night.

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