No Tax Increase for Harrison County Residents - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

9/09/02

No Tax Increase for Harrison County Residents

   The next budget year will be a lean one year for capital improvement projects in Harrison County. The supervisors say projects will be considered on an "as needed" basis. Those that are already underway will be finished. "Doing some water and sewer improvements in the Delisle area. You'll see some of that go on because again those monies are budgeted in this fiscal year. You'll see some projects finishin', I think Prudie Circle recreational facility, something that's already started in this fiscal year so the money's appropriated, but other than than you're just not gonna see much," says District 2 Supervisor Larry Benefield.

    The supervisors say they want to keep costs down so the citizens don't have to pay. "It's unfortunate that other jurisdictions, schools systems and other cities are in fact gonna be raisin' taxes but I think the county's done well in bein' at a level where we don't have to raise taxes. If you'll remember throughout the year when we had a lot of vacancies we didn't fill those positions which gave us the opportunity that we are in now in not havin' to raise taxes." says Board President William Martin.

    Public safety makes up a big chunk of the budget every year. This year the sheriff's budget totals almost 16 million dollars. District 1 Supervisor Bobby Eleuterius says, "You just cannot provide enough money for the sheriff's department and it is public safety. All I can say though is over the years we've had attempts where we've given more individuals and last year we gave the sheriff 25 deputies and he did what he said he was gonna do with 'em...he put 'em in the county jail." The $800,000 the sheriff gets in his new budget will pay for employee medical and unemployment insurance and for holiday pay.

   Although citizens won't pay higher county taxes, they'll pay more school taxes.  The Harrison County School District will raise taxes by nearly six mills. That equates to about $50.00 more each year on a $100,000 home.

by Marcia Hill 

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