Tax Increase Proposed in Philadelphia

Philadelphia, Miss. A proposed tax increase is a step closer to possibly taking effect in Philadelphia. At its regular meeting Tuesday, most members of the board of alderman agreed that a tax increase is "unwanted but necessary."

Records show that for the last 6 consecutive years, the collected.

"We made our bills last year because we were dipping into savings, and we've been dipping into reserves for the last few years," says Mayor James Young. "There comes a time that you have to stop dipping into reserves and manage what you have and get it on a level playing field."

To get on that level playing field, Mayor Young is proposing a 10 mill tax increase.

"It has been almost 10 years since there has been an increase in revenue or ad valorem taxes. During that ten year time frame everything else that we do has gone up," says Young. "We were the 14th lowest general millage city out of more than 200 in this state, 14th lowest. Now, you tell me at 14th lowest how a city our size with 7,477 residents and with the activity that goes on in our community every day how have we survived? It's by the grace of God, but there comes a time when you've got to make that tough decision."

The proposed 10 mill hike would amount to about a $100 increase in taxes for a house valued at $100,000. If approved, the hike would increase Philadelphia's budget for next year by $565,000, and leave the city with $7,405,575 to spend. It has been six years since most city employees had a raise. If approved, the tax increase will provide on average a 2% pay raise for all city workers in Philadelphia.

Prior to a final vote on the budget, a public hearing will be held. At that time residents may ask questions and voice their concerns.

The hearing is set for September 3rd at 5 p.m. at Philadelphia City Hall. The board of alderman is expected to officially vote on next year's budget by September 15th.