Some nearby taxing authorities raising rates

Published 12:00 am Sunday, September 20, 2009

While Warren County, Vicksburg and Vicksburg Warren School District officials have adopted level tax rates for the fiscal year beginning Oct. 1, some neighboring counties and cities are imposing property rate increases.

Supervisors in Sharkey and Hinds counties also held the line on millage rates and Yazoo County shaved its rate, but rate increases are on the way for those who own property in Claiborne and Issaquena counties, as well as Rolling Fork and Port Gibson.

Here’s a rundown of budgets approved or being considered in neighboring counties and cities:

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Sharkey County

The Sharkey County Board of Supervisors was able to hold its millage rate at 107.6 mills in its budget for the coming year, but there are no salary increases for government employees or major capital expenditures included in the spending plan. A public hearing on the budget will take place 3:30 p.m. Monday in Rolling Fork, 120 Locust St.

Rolling Fork

Despite carving more than $350,000 from city department head requests, the Rolling Fork Board of Mayor and Aldermen enacted a tax hike for the coming year. The board approved a 3-mill increase — from 56.8 to 59.8 mills. The city’s anticipated general fund revenue in the coming year totals $1,071,000, with the administration, police and street departments eating up the majority of spending — $878,274 combined.

Claiborne County

Claiborne County property owners will see the highest tax increases in the area over the coming year. The Claiborne County Board of Supervisors on Thursday approved a 9.29-mill increase in its $12.6 million spending plan — an increase of $1.3 million over the current year — with 2 of the mills going to the school district and the rest going toward paying down county debt.

Port Gibson

The Port Gibson Board of Mayor and Aldermen on Monday approved a 4-mill increase to fuel its $1.69 million spending plan.

Yazoo County and Yazoo City

The Yazoo County Board of Supervisors is proposing a 2-mill decrease in tax rates, from 74.27 to 72.27 mills, to offset higher property assessments. The county’s $14.2 million spending plan includes a 4 percent pay increase for its employees. Yazoo City, conversely, has been struggling to keep employees. It recently did away with its small building inspections department, laid off other employees, instituted a hiring freeze and is proposing a 10 percent cut on all city employee salaries. Its projected revenue for the coming year is $6.2 million, and it is proposing to hold millage rates steady at 116 mills.

Hinds County

A rate hike was spared, but the Hinds County Board of Supervisors had to cut its staff of 1,100 by nearly 50 employees to do so. The supervisors estimate a hiring freeze and firing of 48 employees, mostly in the sheriff and public works departments, will save $2 million in the coming year. New equipment and vehicles were also cut from many department budgets in the $54.2 million spending plan.

Hinds County trash collection fees were increased by 0.98 mill, meaning the annual bill for a home valued at $100,000 will go up by $9.80. The hike is expected to generate about $400,000 in added revenue. County supervisors are expected to borrow nearly $1.2 million in the final weeks of the current fiscal year to cover a deficit created by higher than anticipated expenses and payroll costs.  

Issaquena County

In order to meet the needs of five county districts, the Issaquena County Board of Supervisors has approved a 2.37-mill increase, which is projected to bring in an additional $47,551 in revenue over the coming year. The board has in the past subsidized the road district operating funds with taxes generated from natural gas pipelines running through the county, but stated that method is not sustainable.

Millage rates in Warren County stand at 86.73 mills, with 40.53 going toward county coffers and 46.2 supporting the school district. The millage rate in the city has held at 35.88 mills since 1999. 

Warren County will operate from $15 million in anticipated revenue in the coming year, while Vicksburg officials anticipate having $31 million to spend, down about $500,000 from the current year. Vicksburg did increase garbage bills, which will cost residents about $24 more per year.

Property taxes are collected on real estate, personal property and vehicles. The millage rate is one variable. It is multiplied by the appropriate percentage of true value based on state-set categories. For example, timber and farm land has a rate of assessed value much lower than commercial property. Once the total is determined, offsets, such as homestead exemption, are applied.

Values are set by tax assessors as another variable in the formula. Taxpayers whose property has increased in value according to the assessor will owe more taxes, even if tax rates are unchanged.

Vehicle taxes are due on the anniversary of the purchase of a car or truck. Property tax bills are mailed in December and due in January.


Contact Steve Sanoski at