GAUTIER, MS (WLOX) - Taxes are going up in Gautier and not by a little. The city is increasing the millage rate by 3.3 mils, and the Pascagoula-Gautier School District is increasing taxes by almost 4 mils.
That means the owner of a 200,000 home in the city will see a tax increase of about $160 a year.
Why are school taxes going up? Because of something unforeseen, according to school district Superintendent Wayne Rodolfich.
"We found out there was going to be a $2.6 million shortfall, basically in our industrial property sector, and we made up $1.3 million of those dollars, but then we had to go to our taxpayers to make up the other $1.3 million," said Rodolfich.
Couple that with the city increase, and that leaves some citizens, like Catina Towne, with taxation sticker shock.
"It's not going to be good for me and my family. It's going to put a damper in my pocket. It's not going to be good," Towne lamented.
Businesses will be hit as well. The man who owns Big Dog Liquor, Brad Nixon, is expecting a big tax bill.
"It is what it is. I really don't know how to explain it. Taxes, I guess, go up. It's frustrating. The more property taxes you pay, the less you can put into the store," Nixon explained.
Eugenia Johnson is picking up some groceries. She wonders why everything goes up except her paycheck.
"I think it's terrible. The taxes are going up, inflation is going up, but the pay raises are not coming in. It's kind of hard for people like me, working in retail and not getting a raise," said Johnson.
The majority of the city increase will go toward hefty pay raises for public safety workers. Steve Torres sees it both ways.
"I understand they need taxes for our police and fire department, raises to keep them in the city. I understand that, but, you know, we need a break somewhere," Torres said.
While virtually no one said they want to pay more in taxes, most of us can handle the increase. However, for the elderly, that may not be the case. Roosevelt and Irene Darrett are going to feel the pinch.
"It's hard on a fixed income, even with two people," Roosevelt said. "So, I would say that a tax increase would cripple us a bit."
One thing is certain. Everyone in Gautier will have to pinch their pennies a bit more in the coming months.
In addition to paying higher taxes on their homes, Gautier residents will also pay more on car tags and other personal property. Those taxes are also based on the millage rate.