Vicksburg board approves $34.189 million budget, sets millage rate

Published 11:53 am Friday, September 15, 2023

The Vicksburg Board of Mayor and Aldermen on Friday approved the city’s $34.189 million fiscal year 2024 budget and set the city’s millage rate at 35.88 mills.

The budget goes into effect at the start of the fiscal year on Oct. 1. The millage rate has remained the same since it was first approved in 1999.

“This budget is exactly what we presented at the (Sept. 7) public hearing,” Mayor George Flaggs Jr. said. “It’s tight and it’s going to be tight for the first six months. This is probably the most conservative budget I’ve ever dealt with, but it’s doable. It’s a work in progress and that’s all that matters.”

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The mayor said he will hold a meeting with city department heads about the new budget but did not give a date.

According to the budget, property tax values declined by $258,000, from $9.76 million in FY 2023 to $9.5 million in FY 2024. Sales tax projections were up by $845,000, from $7.95 in FY 2023 to $8.80 million in FY 2024.

Flaggs said department budgets were cut between 10 and 85 percent with capital costs like vehicles and equipment being affected. The fire department budget was cut by approximately $74,000, while the police department was cut by more than $500,000. Despite the cuts, public safety had the city’s largest budget at $16.22 million, followed by the general government budget at $9.5 million.

In a related matter, the board set the special downtown millage for Main Street Vicksburg at 5.05 mills, which is paid by commercial property owners in the downtown area.

Main Street is funded by two sources — the millage, which is estimated to produce $35,750 to cover the cost of office supplies and dues and fees to tourism organizations, and a $127,800 city supplement that covers salaries and benefits and services like computers, telephones and Internet access.

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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