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School taxes won't increase

BY ZACK STEEN

zsteen@dailycorinthian.com

Property taxes are set to remain the same in Alcorn County following the Alcorn School District's 2019 budget proposal.

Finance Director Kimberly Woodard told board members this week that the district's operational millage rate would remain 49.76 mills, a percentage that has not changed since 2008.

The operational millage rate is used to help fund the district's main operating fund and district maintenance fund. An additional 3 mills is also collected for debt service, therefore the total millage rate for the upcoming fiscal year is purposed at 52.76 mills

The district hasn't asked for an tax increase since 2010 and one hasn't actually taken place since 2008 when the millage went from 45.24 to 49.76. The max amount a school district can receive is 55 mills.

Superintendent Larry B. Mitchell said, while a possible mileage rate increase request might come in the future, "now is not the time." He said a future rate increase could help pay for technology upgrades including introducing a one-to-one initiative in the county's high schools.

"Even when the time is right, hopefully we can find a way to pay for technology without requesting a mileage increase," Mitchell told the Daily Corinthian.

According to Woodard, many districts in the state have a much higher millage rate.

The 2019 budget will encompass revenues of $30,574,355 and expenditures of $33,633,533 for the district.

The district will receive the majority of their monies from the Mississippi Adequate Education Program, Chickasaw Cession funds, federal programs and national board reimbursement.

Woodard reported the district would receive $8,871,092 from local sources with $7,281,412 or 82 percent coming from ad valorem tax collections.

The district will receive a $227,332 increase in MAEP funds which totals $15,572,252. The amount is still below full funding by approximately $1,679,677.

District debt heading into the new year sits at $5,423,000 following the addition of the $4.24 million bond note approved last summer. This time last year, the district debt sat at $3,356,000.

The finalized budget will be presented to the board for a vote on Aug. 13.