Tax Increase May Be On The Way To Help Fund Jackson County Schools

Jackson County schools are ranked as some of the top in the state, and school officials say it's going to take a budget increase to keep it that way.

"That is due to some cuts from the state, approximately $125,000 cuts," County Superintendent Dr. Billy Lee said. "But also the teacher pay raise. We fund over 100 teacher units from local funds."

To help the schools, residents could end up paying about seven percent more in property taxes, and many of them have something to say about it.

"I've always believed that education is important, and here in Vancleave, we have some nice schools and good schools," Vancleave resident Jim Goff said. "We need to keep them that way."

He isn't the only one who feels that way many of the residents we talked to agreed.

"I don't want them increased to where our folks back here can't afford them, but if they go for school, yes," Vancleave resident Janice Carnley said.

School Superintendent Billy Lee says he hopes the budget increase won't have a major affect on taxes.

"We had an increase in budget last year of four percent, but actually decreased taxes by 1.6 mills because of the actual growth coming to the rural area," County Superintendent Dr. Billy Lee said. "New homes, new businesses, we hope that this year the same thing will happen."

The Jackson County School Board is expected to vote on the budget next month. Once the school board votes on the increase, the board of supervisors puts it into action.