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City of Oxford set to approve 2021 budget

Drastic measures were taken by the City of Oxford in March to help prepare for the upcoming fiscal year and after months of budget meetings, the Board of Aldermen are prepared to vote on next year’s budget.

At their Sept. 1 meeting, the Board held a public hearing regarding the budget for the 2021 fiscal year. There were no objections or any one from the audience who asked to speak.

If the budget is approved, there will be a two percent decrease in overall expenses for the upcoming year. During last week’s meeting, city clerk Ashley Atkinson gave some good news regarding potential tax hikes.

“Our millage rate will remain the same as will the Oxford School District’s millage rate,” Atkinson told the Board. “There will be no (tax) increase.”

Oxford’s millage rate will stay at 31.22 for the upcoming fiscal year, which begins on Oct. 1 and runs though Sept. 30, 2021.

The City’s budgeted revenue is $30,908,412, plus $5,190,029 cash in hand, giving them a projected revenue of $36,098,441 for FY2021. The revenue comes from ad valorem and sale taxes, fines, forfeits, governmental services, license and permits. That is down from the $36.8 million the City made during the 2019-2020 fiscal year.

Taxes are anticipated to bring in the most revenue with $11,296,542 while ad valorem taxes are projected to bring in $9,488,070. Sales taxes are projected to be $8,9000,000.

The departments that requested the largest budgets were the Oxford Fire Department and the Oxford Police Department. The OFD requested a budget of $8,551,224 while OPD requested a $7,883,224 budget. The third largest budget request came from the general government department with $3,548,628.

“Everyone was really cautious of what we needed to do,” Atkinson told the Board. “Most departments came in flat or lower than the previous year. There were not a lot of wants but a whole bunch of needs.”

The Board will vote on next year’s budget during their Sept. 15 meeting.