The Greenwood City Council held a public hearing Tuesday to let residents air their opinions about the city’s proposed 4% tax increase.
Five residents attended.
The city is proposing raising its millage rate from 50.26 mills to 52.26 mills for the 2019-2020 fiscal year, which begins Oct. 1.
A mill is worth $109,000, meaning that if the City Council were to adopt a 2-mill increase, the city would generate about $218,000 in revenue, Mayor Carolyn McAdams said.
McLeod Meek, a Greenwood rental property owner, said he understands that the city needs to continue providing services but objected to what he considers to be short notice given to citizenry. The city ran an advertisement about the proposed increase Aug. 15.
He said it would be beneficial in the future if residents are alerted earlier when the city is considering a tax hike.
McAdams said that the city is trying to keep the city’s services “up to par,” explaining that for years the city had not raised its taxes, which in some ways hurt the city.
The mayor also said that she spoke with Leroy Ware, the tax assessor for Leflore County, earlier this week.
Because of the formation of the Greenwood Leflore Consolidated School District earlier this summer, McAdams was told by Ware that for the schools, Greenwood residents will be paying 44 mills in taxes, which is 12 mills lower than what the city previously paid for in taxes for the former Greenwood School District.
During the meeting, Ward 1’s Johnny Jennings brought up the topic of annexation.
Jennings, who has touted annexation numerous times in the past, said adding areas just outside of Greenwood’s city limits but still receiving certain city services could help lessen the tax burden on city residents currently paying taxes.
“Everybody has got to put money in,” Jennings said.
Responding to Jennings, McAdams said that city officials “can’t just cherry-pick what we want” to annex.
“It has to be done as a process. If we started today, it would probably take five or six years to get done,” she said.
The council is expected to vote on the budget during its meeting next Tuesday.
•Contact Gerard Edic at 581-7239 or firstname.lastname@example.org.