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Lafayette County does not see a tax increase as 2021 budget is approved

The Lafayette County Board of Supervisors approved the 2021 budget on Tuesday and avoided a raise in taxes for a fourth consecutive year in the process.

During their regular meeting, the Board held a hearing before voting in the budget for Fiscal Year 2021.

Lafayette County’s millage rate will remain the same at 36.98, which also means taxpayers will not see an increase in their taxes. The last time the millage increased was for the FY2018 budget when it was raised from 35.76 to its current rate.

“I feel like it was a success,” Board president Mike Roberts said of the budget. “We managed to still take care of our employees and the community as a whole, but maintain the millage rate for those services at the same time.”

Part of the budget will include a $1,200 cost of living raise for every full time Lafayette County employee.

The proposed budgeted tax revenue for FY2021 is $31,574,409 with $21,124,524 coming from Lafayette County and $8,656,281 coming from the Lafayette County School District and $1,793,604 coming from Northwest Mississippi Community College.

Lafayette County’s public safety sector, which includes the Lafayette County Sheriff’s Department, Lafayette County Dentention Center, Lafayette County Fire Department and Lafayette County Emergency Management, will receive 35 percent of the distributed tax dollars.

The public works sector, including the road department and solid waste, will receive 31 percent of the distributed tax dollars. General government will receive 18 percent with Lafayette County’s court system and debt service receiving five percent and heath and other services receiving four percent. Capital projects will receive two percent.

“Even with COVID going on, the demands for infrastructure and roads and maintaining trash pickup, public safety with the sheriff’s department, certainly hadn’t gone away,” Roberts said. “(County administrator) Lisa (Carwyle) and her staff have done great in managing the revenue sources. We just had to tighten the purse strings and planning for the future.”

Oxford’s Board of Aldermen are expected to approve their FY 2021 budget during their Sept. 15 meeting.