School board passes budget without asking for tax increase – Mississippi’s Best Community Newspaper

NATCHEZ — The Natchez Adams School District passed its budget for the 2022-23 fiscal year on Tuesday, without asking for a tax increase, school officials said.

The district-wide operating budget summary shows estimated revenues of $79.2 million and expenses of about $92 million, a deficit of $11.7 million, said Tim Byrd, who is the acting director of business and finance for the school district.
“This is mainly or solely due to construction activities,” Byrd said.

The school district expects $26.1 million of those expenses to be reimbursed by the Federal Elementary and Secondary Schools Emergency Relief Fund (ESSER), Assistant Superintendent Zandra McDonald-Green said.

With the budget approved on Tuesday, the school board also approved an ad valorem tax request resolution. Eighteen percent — or $14.2 million of the total budget — is proposed to be funded through an ad valorem tax levy — which is paid by Adams County residents through property taxes, auto tags and commercial facilities and equipment. This dollar demand will then be converted to mileage rates set by the Adams County Board of Supervisors.

Although assessed property values ​​have increased, the school district’s tax demand is nearly the same as last year, officials said.

“The mileage rate will actually be lower than last year because the assessed values ​​have gone up and we’re asking for the same amount of money,” said school board vice president Phillip West.

In the general fund budget, revenues are estimated at $35.3 million and expenditures at $31.5 million, for a projected surplus of $3.8 million for the general fund.

The school district’s biggest expense is on salaries after state lawmakers approved a historic pay increase for Mississippi teachers, Byrd said.

In a summary of the budget, the school district’s expenditures are as follows: salaries, $22.9 million; equipment and furniture, $17.1 million; utilities and construction, $17 million; benefits $7.6 million; professional services such as contractors or architects, $6.5 million; transfers, $6.3 million; tuition and transportation services, $4.8 million; debt service, $4.3 million; and supplies, $4.1 million.

A public hearing regarding the school district’s budget was held on July 6.

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