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Supervisors make 2003-2004 budget official

By By Steve Gillespie / staff writer
Sept. 18, 2003
The Lauderdale County Board of Supervisors officially set the millage rate Wednesday for its fiscal year budget that takes effect Oct. 1.
A millage rate is the amount of tax paid per dollar on assessed value of property. One mill is one-tenth of 1 cent; for each mill, a taxpayer pays $1 for every $1,000 of assessed value.
The greatest change in the millage rate for the new budget year is an increase from 1.95 mills to 4 mills for the county's garbage collection.
On Monday, supervisors voted to loan the garbage fund $250,000 from the county general fund to offset a deficit of about $500,000.
Rex Hiatt, county administrator, said the money will be repaid to the general fund next year.
County residents are charged user fees for garbage collection, but Hiatt said Monday during the public hearing on the budget that the fees are not being paid.
He said the county withholds car tags from county residents until they pay their garbage fees. County garbage fees are normally $60 per year. Senior citizens' fees are half of that.
Hiatt suggested that other attempts at collecting fees may have to be explored, such as using a collection agency.
The 2003-2004 budget includes a $7.9 million beginning cash balance and projected revenues of $29.5 million. Projected expenditures total $31.3 million with an ending cash balance of $6.2 million.
Overall millage for the county was increased from 98.33 mills to 98.91, an increase of .58 mills.
Information provided by the county shows that people with a home valued at $100,000 will pay $5.80 more in taxes based on the new budget if they live outside of the city of Meridian. A person with the same home who lives outside of Meridian but inside the city school district will pay $14.10 more.
Meridian residents with a home valued at $100,000 will see a decrease in their county taxes of $5.60.
The Lauderdale County Board of Supervisors' next regularly meeting is Oct. 6 in the supervisor's board room of the Raymond P. Davis courthouse annex at 410 21st Ave.