Philadelphia Mayor Explains Tax Hike

Philadelphia, Miss. "Did we need to do this to get the ship sailing at least level? I think yes. Did we want to do it? No."

Philadelphia Mayor James Young says there will be some growing pains as the general fund millage doubles from 10 mills to 20 during the next fiscal year, but he believes the city is strong enough to where the citizens and business owners there will be O.K.

"We're talking about moving our city and keeping our city safe. We're still fighting crime, we're still trying to make sure our streets are clean, and providing services that the people need. We can't do it on the revenue that was brought in 10 years ago."

Young says that while other Mississippi cities the size of Philadelphia have mills of about 13-15, they were operating in a deficit with the millage set to 10, and that no city employees will be laid off, nor will city services be effected by any cuts in the budget.

"At this point we are at the low side of the median within our state, and I think what we have to offer is still a very valuable living space."

The city is on pace to finish the current fiscal year about $300,000 over budget. The tax increase will generate about $565,000 a year, and that's money that Young says he will make sure is used to benefit the citizens.

"We've got to have the personnel and the equipment to do the right job, the proper job, if we're going to be a viable city that's drawing industry, businessmen and women, and their families to our area, so we've got to stay at the top of our game."

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