Warren County Supervisors to hold budget hearing on Sept. 6

Published 4:00 am Friday, September 2, 2022

The Warren County Board of Supervisors will hold a public hearing for its fiscal year 2023 budget on Sept. 6 at 9 a.m. in the boardroom, located on the third floor of the Warren County Courthouse.

For the upcoming fiscal year, the county’s proposed millage rate will remain at 117.77 mills. There will be no increase in the ad valorem tax millage rate, which means Warren County taxpayers will not pay more in ad valorem taxes on their homes, automobile tags, utilities, business fixtures and equipment or rental real property, unless the assessed value of that property has increased.

Because 2022 was a year of reassessment for Warren County, many property values did increase — something Board President Kelle Barfield said the supervisors took into consideration during budget discussions.

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“You try to look ahead and anticipate in the fiscal year, if you have sufficient revenues for specific needs (such as leaks in the Board of Supervisors building and a new chiller at the Health Department),” Barfield said. “… Because property values went up, hypothetically, if all the same people pay taxes on the same properties, you’ll generate more revenue. That enabled us to look at some of these known projects that we have planned and determine if we would have sufficient revenue to fund these projects. If so, we would fit them in the budget.”

For the next fiscal year, the proposed budget for Warren County has a total projected revenue of $45,998,607. Of that amount, 69.77 percent, or $32,093,934, is proposed to be financed through a total ad valorem tax levy. The remaining 30.23 percent of the 117.77 ad valorem tax is proposed to be put toward the Vicksburg Warren School District’s operation costs and school infrastructure bond debt reduction.

Another upcoming project that is anticipated to use a portion of the county’s budget over the next couple of years is the new Warren County Jail.

“As painful as it is to pay more money for anything these days, long-term it’s in everyone’s best interests to start paying down the ultimate cost of the jail,” Barfield said. “If we’re able to keep the millage the same and potentially put some of that toward the jail, long-term that is in everyone’s best interest.”

An estimated $15,000,000 in special projects is anticipated to be funded with revenues from state and federal sources.

Throughout the last month, the Board of Supervisors has met with each department head in the county to determine needs and areas to reduce expenditures.

“The Supervisors collectively look at every single line item from every single department head. That’s a process we’ve instituted for three years now,” Barfield said. “But you also have to protect the county against future costs.”

A decision regarding the proposed budget for the fiscal year 2023 will be made on Sept. 6 following the 9 a.m. hearing. Any citizen of Warren County is welcome to attend and will be allowed to speak during the budget hearing.