Laurel officials release proposed 2017 budget

LAUREL, Miss. - The city of Laurel released its proposed 2017 fiscal budget and Mayor Johnny Magee said officials will not raise taxes on its residents.

He said, "There will be no ad valorem tax increase, so the citizens will be glad about that."

According to Mayor Magee the city is facing a $700,000-$800,000 deficit from what was originally budgeted, but instead of raising taxes, the city chose to tighten the budget.

"The police wanted some new police patrol cars, they won't be able to get them this year, they will have to use what they got, but when you dial 911, they will still be there" said Mayor Magee.

A few Laurel residents feel relieved the city will not raise taxes.

James Sansom said, "If taxes go up, more folks got to come out for extra money." Sansom added, "But where do these folks get that money from? No increase in taxes that would be good, that is nice."

Evelyn McCormick lived in Laurel her entire life, and she agreed every penny counts. "I save money on a lot of things, everything that is taxed, if you do not elevate taxes, then it saves the people a lot of money" she said.

Magee said there will be no delay in the city's public work service, citizens can expect the same service.

"The people will not see any reduction in services, they won't see any less police on the street, they won't see any less firemen" Magee said.

Laurel resident, Josh Allen voiced a different opinion, "I think allocation of the taxes to proper venues would be appropriate, I do not think our money is being spent wisely" said Allen.

Magee said the official budget will be adopted next Tuesday.

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