No new taxes in mayor's proposed budget - - Jackson, MS

No new taxes in mayor's proposed budget

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JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Jackson Mayor Harvey Johnson Jr. presented his proposed 2011-2012 budget to council members Wednesday.

City wide cost cutting and higher than projected sales taxes are said to have worked to the advantage of tax payers.

Residents of the capital city will not see any new taxes in Mayor Johnson's upcoming budget. 

The proposed budget is $317 million dollars, 8.4% less than last year.

Employees will receive a 2% pay increase for the first time since 2008.

"We've come under budget. We're pleased that we haven't had to furlough, we haven't had to lay off anybody. We're pleased that bond rating agencies have in fact rewarded us by giving us upgrades in our revenue bonds as well as our general obligation bonds," said Mayor Johnson.

This budget also tackles public safety, which includes three new recruiting classes, hiring five part-time 911 operators, five new detention officers, creating J.P.D. corporal positions for 10 year veterans, hiring six new fire department positions and 25 emergency medical technicians for the fire department.

It also includes the completion of the $35 million dollar water sewer line repairs, $1.6 million in street paving and critical bridge repair along with $450,000 for pothole repair.

The continuation of the Fortification Street Project is also in the plan.

"As they drive through our streets they can see whether State Street or West Street where we paved those streets, spent $26 million dollars paving streets and then two weeks later we have a water line break and we've got to dig up the streets," added Johnson.

The proposed operating budget is an increase of $10.7 million dollars or a 4% increase over the current operating budget of nearly $256 million dollars.

The council must adopt a budget by September 15th.

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