Supervisors mum on tax hike

While Oktibbeha County supervisors won’t say they are considering raising taxes again this year, they’re not saying they’re not, either.
“We’re not taking any options off the table,” said District 3 Supervisor and Board President Marvell Howard.
The county government’s budget has deflated from holes in several areas from this year’s projected assets, which were based on those of previous years.
According to reports from comptroller Emily Garrard, the county’s gas severance tax was nearly cut in half from its projected $500,000.
“Years ago, it was not uncommon for us to receive $600,000 or $700,000,” she said.
The state has also cut back on homestead reimbursement, giving the county only 80 percent of its original $401,750 compensation.
And while the state previously helped the county pay for local prisoners’ medical assistance, it’s now only reimbursing Medicaid rates.
Therefore, the county will have to pay 100 percent of the medical expenses for inmates who have not yet been to court.
A continual problem due to the nationwide recession, the county has not received additional interest income, as it has not purchased a certificate of deposit (CD) since September of 2007.
Garrard, who makes calls every month, says current CD interest rates are around 2 percent, while they used to be around 5 percent.
The board has to adopt the budget on Sept. 15 and will meet again this Monday.
Then, they will schedule a public hearing to take place in the evening, when they expect to present the budget to local citizens with visual aids provided by the Golden Triangle Planning and Development District.
“Anything is possible for right now,” Howard said regarding the board’s decisions on the budget.