Meridian Mayor Cheri Barry is optimistic that she can prevent city council from raising taxes one-and-a-half mills as their proposed budget plans. Barry says she does not want to increase the stress to the residents of the city by raising taxes when the economy has not fully recovered from the recession.
Barry tells us, "We've worked hard on the budgets for the last three years because I am, I am not interested at this point in raising our tax base. We're still in very, very hard times in this community, and people are suffering. So, we're going to look at ways to work with the city council. We're meeting with them one-on-one to discuss the possibilities of resolutions in proposals for this budget."
Barry's own budget proposal to city council was a balanced budget and included a two percent pay raise for all employees. Instead of raising taxes, she is more in favor of attracting businesses to the city.
"I feel like that we can certainly look down the road at continuing to build this community by not raising taxes but raising more revenue by private investors coming in and doing business in Meridian, and I think that's the way to do it," says Barry.
Barry is hoping to work out a compromise with city council prior to the public hearing on Tuesday. If no compromise can be made though, she will veto any budget that raises taxes.
Barry tells us, "I'm going to listen. I'm going to look and listen to what the city council has to say. I am not in favor of raising taxes."
When asked if she would veto any budget the council passes with taxes increased, Mayor Barry responded, "Absolutely."
The budget for the city must be passed by September 30.