CATEGORY: Alcorn County

AUTHOR: SUMMER

HED: Alcorn County supervisors lowers budget by 5 percent

By Jane Clark Summers

Daily Journal Corinth Bureau

CORINTH - Residents in Alcorn County will pay 5 percent less in county taxes next year.

Supervisors levied a 79.36-mill tax rate to support the budget for the fiscal year 1997-98 budget, down by 4.24 mills from the current levy of 83.63 mills.

The total general county budget for 1998 is estimated at $3,807,518, down $313,689 from $4,121,207 this year.

The tax reduction was made possible by paying off three one-time expenses last year, board of supervisors President Ely Mitchell said.

"We did what we said we were going to do," he said. "We put it on and took it off."

The paid-up budget items include a $250,000 contribution toward the Siege and Battle of Corinth hiking/biking trail and $215,000 to match grants for an industrial park access road.

The county also paid off construction costs on the Department of Human Services building in 1997.

With an increased countywide assessment, one mill in taxes is expected to bring in a maximum of about $142,000 in 1998, up from $135,000 in 1997.

A mill brings in $1 for each $1,000 of assessed property valuation.

The millage rate to support the general fund for 1998 totals 18.4 mills, down from 22.9 mills. The tax levy to support the county school district is up 1.46 mills and will go from 35.27 mills this year to 36.73 in 1998.

The new budget includes raises for most county employees, Mitchell said.

Supervisors, who now earn $29,100, will receive $33,548 in 1997.

State legislators authorized pay hikes for supervisors and other elected officials during the 1997 legislative session.

Mitchell said most county employees will receive between 3 and 5 percent raises.

Some of the departments receiving increases in 1998 include the chancery clerk's office, from $81,040 to $83,040; the tax assessor, from $79,000 to $83,058; the tax collector, from $260,358 to $265,000; veterans service from $46,474 to $48,817; chancery court, from $78,061 to $83,544; circuit court, from $118,501 to $126,813; and justice court, from $169,000 to $170,000.

Also, the district attorney's appropriation will rise from $6,000 to $7,200; county attorney, from $42,500 to $51,295; public defender, from $70,000 to $75,000; sheriff's department, from $575,000 to $605,000; custody of prisoners, from $200,000 to $210,000; juvenile detention, from $50,057 to $81,700; E-911 dispatchers, from $65,000 to $73,012; airport, $75,000 to $80,000; and the health department, from $95,000 to $100,000.

The Alcorn County Human Resource Agency, which operates senior citizen programs received $100,000, up from $96,000. The Northeast Mississippi Emergency Shelter for Children was budgeted $10,000, up from $5,000.

Supervisors approved $20,000 for the Jacinto (Courthouse) Foundation, up from $17,000; $112,000 for the Northeast Regional Library, up from $108,000.

Receiving funding for the first time are the Corinth/Alcorn County Humane Society, $6,000, and the Northeast Mississippi Museum, $5,000.

Copies of the budget and millage levies are available to the public at the Chancery Court Clerk's office.

The budget takes effect Oct. 1 and is effective through Sept. 30, 1998.

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