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Council to hold public hearing on '14 budget


Columbus Chief Financial Officer Milton Rawle

Columbus Chief Financial Officer Milton Rawle



Nathan Gregory



The Columbus City Council will hold its first public hearing on its proposed 2014 budget at 5 p.m. today at the municipal complex. 


The budget has an estimated revenue of $22,864,570, $5,106,000 of which comes from ad valorem taxes. The proposed budget does not call for a millage increase. The current millage for the city's operations is 40.13. In total, the rate is 106 mills including Columbus Municipal School District. 


Property taxes are calculated with mills. One mill is worth one-thousandth of a dollar. For example, if the millage rate is 20 mills, a property owner pays $20 for every $1,000 of assessed value on his or her property. The assessed value of a property is the appraised value multiplied by the assessment ratio (10% for residential properties). The owner of a property appraised for $100,000 in this example would owe $200 in taxes. 


Municipalities, counties and school districts each establish their own millage rates to meet budgetary needs. 


The city council previously held five budget workshops prior to tonight's hearing. The city's chief financial officer is Milton Rawle. 


The agenda sent to local media Thursday does not contain an item regarding a vote on the proposed budget. 


Also not listed on the agenda is board business concerning six possible railroad crossing closures in South Columbus. Last month, officials from Kansas City Southern Railway and the Mississippi Department of Transportation came to Columbus to discuss safety benefits of closing six crossings and rehabilitating six others during a special public hearing. 


Other than the hearing, the agenda contains mostly routine items, including swearing in two new firefighters, conducting a hearing on overgrown lots and dilapidated houses and considering other personnel requests, including hiring a municipal court clerk administrator and making a part-time municipal court clerk full time.


Nathan Gregory covers city and county government for The Dispatch.



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