Public hearing on city budget Thursday night

Published 12:00 am Friday, August 24, 2001

[8/22/01] Vicksburg residents can get their first look at the city’s $34.1 million proposed spending plan for 2001-2002 Thursday night during a public hearing before the Board of Mayor and Aldermen at City Hall Annex.

Warren County supervisors have set a public budget hearing for Sept. 4. Supervisors have given no indication how spending during the new fiscal year, which begins Oct. 1, will compare with the $28 million budgeted this year.

“It’s a little bit early for that,” said board president Richard George.

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Both budgets must be approved by Sept. 17.

State law requires the city and county to publish budget summaries by Sept. 30 and forward numbers to the tax collector by Oct. 1.

City officials introduced a preliminary budget this month that indicated $24.3 million will be spent for general government operations and $9.8 million for capital and infrastructure improvements.

The current city budget, approved by the previous administration, totaled $30.8 million.

Since presenting a preliminary plan, city officials have continued to tweak the budget, but have not said how that affects the total. Mayor Laurence Leyens has said the city plans to issue bonds or borrow money to fund some capital improvement projects without raising taxes.

Currently the rate set by the city used to calculate property taxes is set at 35.88 mills, but that rate is only part of what residents pay. County and school taxes make up the rest of the tax bills residents receive in December and come due in January.

Last year, county supervisors set the rate at 77.27 mills. They have indicated that rate could change with this year’s budget.

Vicksburg Warren School officials already passed a 4 percent tax increase, the largest allowed without a public vote, to fund the district’s $62 million budget approved earlier this year.