County leaders to raise taxes for emergency services

TUPELO — Lee County Board of Supervisors president Bobby Smith says taxpayers shouldn’t expect more than a modest tax increase in the 2014 fiscal year budget to upgrade the county’s aging 911 radio system.

The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal reported supervisors approved the county tax rolls yesterday, allowing officials to go ahead with crafting a county budget to meet the state-mandated Sept. 15 deadline.

Supervisors have said they do not expect a tax increase beyond the 1.5 mills or less related to a $7.5 million 911 communications radio upgrade. That increase will cost about $15 more for taxpayers whose property is valued at $100,000.

The bulk of revenue for county government comes from property taxes and car tags.

Supervisors will hold a public hearing Sept. 6 on the budget.

Smith said the property tax roll shows a likely increase in revenue but “not enough to make a difference.” He said the board probably will approve a budget similar to the current $37 million spending plan.

In recent years, Lee County officials have limited department budgets to control spending. Smith said the county’s road department has taken funding cuts that he’d like to see restored in coming years.

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