City’s budget surplus reduced after unbudgeted item discovered

Published 8:32 pm Friday, September 15, 2017

The projected $32,000 surplus in the city’s fiscal 2018 budget has been reduced by about $8,000.

Mayor George Flaggs Jr. announced the reduction at Friday’s meeting of the Board of Mayor and Aldermen, adding the surplus was reduced to $23,182 — a drop of $8,818. The reason, he said, was the board failed to include money to Main Street for additional private security downtown.

After the announcement, the board approved the city’s $32.65 million budget, which goes into effect Oct. 1.

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“Remember this is a budget without raising your taxes,” Flaggs said. “I want commend Aldermen (Michael) Mayfield and Alderman (Alex) Monsour for their hard work toward this budget, and how we got there is to reduce a lot of capital and supplies (costs). We cut out the 3 percent raise, we took some items out of recreation and other departments that can be funded by the capital improvements (bond issue).”

He said the city’s budget oversight committee has recommended a supplemental budget later in the year, pending the status of the budget.

“If by April, if the funds are available, we will start working on the list for the supplemental budget.”

The fiscal 2018 budget projects revenues of $9.16 million in property tax and $7.95 million in sales tax. The property tax comprises 29.3 percent of the city’s total revenue, with sales taxes making up 24.3 percent.

Other revenue projections include $5.38 million in gaming tax; $3.84 million in fees, permits, fines and interest from investments; state and county funds; and other sources like grants and loans.

The city’s total assessed value, including real estate, personal property, automobiles and utilities, totals $328.7 million.

Public safety — police, fire, ambulance, emergency management and traffic — are the largest budget item with total of $16.39 million. Public works is next with $4.83 million, with culture, parks and recreation costing $2.41 million.

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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