City Budget Talks Begin

Meridian, Miss. Budget talks for the new fiscal year have started for the Meridian City Council and department leaders.

The city council held its first budget meeting Tuesday. On the wish list for city department heads is approximately $3 million more to spend. In all, the requests call for a 9.55% increase for next year's budget.

"It'll be about the same (budget) as it was last year, I think," said council president, Dr. George Thomas. "We won't have property taxes for another two to three weeks. The county is now going through the appeal process on the taxes that people are being asked to pay. Once we get that we'll know what the property tax figures are. The public schools have also said that they will increase their local budget, which possibly could call for an increase in millage for the public schools."

The city's allotted budget for the current fiscal year was
$34,105,000. The initial proposed budget for next year is for more than $37 million.

City officials must adopt a budget for the new fiscal year before it begins on Oct. 1. The city council will start official budget talks with department heads Wednesday.