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Ridgeland officials consider first tax increase in 26 years

RIDGE LAND — For the first time in 26 years, the mayor and board of alderman in Ridgeland are considering a tax increase.

Mayor Gene McGee told The Clarion-Ledger taxpayers with a $100,000 home would see an annual increase of $10 to $15 on their property taxes.

Citing lagging sales tax and other contributing factors, McGee said the city has had to do more with less.

“Obviously, money is tight,” he said. “We’ve lived on the same amount of millage for over 25 years. As expenses continue to grow and people expect the services to remain high, and in this economy with all the competition that’s going on with the retailers . it’s a tough market. We depend on sales tax, and obviously it’s not growing as much as it used to and the competition hurts.”

Currently, the value of a mill is $449,066. The city of Ridgeland has a rate of 20.3 mills. The proposal includes a maximum millage increase of 1.11 mills or $501,819. The net ad valorem increase with the 1.11 mill increase would be $482,736.

Alderman at large DI Smith, who considers himself fiscally conservative, said he supports the mill increase.

“Ridgeland has lived for a long time with an extremely, extremely low millage rate, far less than anything else of a comparable size city,” Smith said. “We’ve been able to live off the growth of ad valorem and sales tax but as years have gone by, particularly the more recent years where we have not had substantial growth . we’ve had to trade off services to the citizens, like overlay and maintaining of streets.”

McGee said the city is committed to providing quality services for citizens and, in order for that to continue, an increase may be necessary.


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