Officials release 2017 Lamar county budget, residents speak

LAMAR COUNTY, Miss. - Lamar county officials approved its budget for the 2017 fiscal year. The board of supervisors are not increasing taxes on its residents.

According to County Administrator Jody Waits the budget the FY 2017 assessed value grew by $21.3 million which is 9 million (4%) more than FY 2016 growth.

The board said in Tuesday's meeting there is no increase in the Tax Levy making it 16 consecutive years supervisors has not raised millage.

Wait said, "We've also had continual growth in the county, and the values, those things combined to provide more money and services to the citizens of the county."

Included in this year's 2017 budget is a new ambulance service, senior center, and 24-hour medical coverage in the county jail.

"The increased value of property within the county brings in more tax dollars" said Waits. He added, "That allows us to do more things in the county."

Lamar county taxpayers are happy taxes are not being raised. A 30 year resident, Joe Wilks said the board cares about its citizens.

Wilks said, "They keep our roads and roadways looking nice, they are not doing it for themselves, it is for the people living here."

One Forrest county resident said there is great incentive to move to Lamar county. Chris Clements said, "Why can Forrest county and Hattiesburg residents be penalized." He added, "When Lamar county has not done that, what is it that Lamar county that their people and their government has done?"

The new 2017 fiscal budget will take effect October 1.

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