Ad Valorem tax increase proposed to offset Jackson Co. schools future revenue loss

Published: Jan. 6, 2022 at 9:39 PM CST
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JACKSON COUNTY, Miss. (WLOX) - The Jackson County School District is exploring what steps need to be taken to avoid a budget shortfall in the future.

A big chunk of money used by the Jackson County School District comes from Plant Daniel, but the coal power plant is set to go offline in 2027. According to Jackson County School Superintendent John Stryker, when it does his school district will be out about $6 million.

“With the power plant being decommissioned, six years from now it would be equivalent to not that it would all come from the teachers units, but it would be equivalent to 92 teaching positions,” Stryker said. “So in six years from now if nothing was done to increase revenue we would have to lay off the equivalent of 92 teaching positions and it would be devastating.”

In an effort to offset the lost revenue, Stryker is proposing a 4% increase in Ad Valorem taxes, the most allowed by law.

“This isn’t greed or us doing anything fancy other than making sure we maintain what we have right now and what we have right now we’re very proud of,” Stryker said.

Stryker estimates $1 million annually would be generated and go towards keeping aging facilities in working order, staying ahead of expected population growth and staff salaries.

“I want to make sure people understand that doesn’t mean a 4% tax increase, it just means we’re able to draw 4% more from ad valorem,” said Stryker.

This push comes after Jackson County residents voted down a $67 million bond for school improvements last year.

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