- Associated Press - Wednesday, September 2, 2015

RIDGELAND, Miss. (AP) - The Ridgeland board of aldermen has struck down a proposed tax increase.

In a 5-2 vote Tuesday night, the board approved the millage at its current rate of 20.03.

The Clarion-Ledger reports (https://on.thec-l.com/1EBey0R ) the proposed increase was 1.11 mills.

Before the vote, aldermen went into executive session to discuss “economic development” and “potential litigation.”

Alderman Ken Heard addressed the crowd, saying, “I want to assure you nothing shady is going on.”

The board met behind closed doors for an hour. When it went back into regular session, Alderman Brian Ramsey made the motion to keep the millage rate at the current rate of 20.03.

Alderman Chuck Gautier said he was against the increase, saying, “I still think if we’re in a situation where we can’t afford to do things, we don’t do them.”

The motion passed 5-2.

Mayor Gene McGee previously said the millage increase was needed to supplement the city’s lagging sales tax.

One mill is equal to one thousandth of a dollar. In Ridgeland, the value of one mill is equal to $449,066 (of assessed property value).

With the 1.11 mill increase, the city’s net ad valorem would have been $482,736.

According to a proposed budget provided by the city, the 2016 proposed taxes include an increase of 1.11 mills based on 2015 assessed value of $453,018,322.

For fiscal year 2016, the proposed city budget has $22,726,057 in total revenues and $23,709,714 in total expenditures. Revenues are under expenditures by $983,657.

The budgeted balance at the beginning of the year is $13,097,387. The budgeted balance at the end of year is $12,113,730 with a 51 percentage of end of year balance over total expenditures.

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Information from: The Clarion-Ledger, https://www.clarionledger.com


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