Meridian city leaders are still considering a property tax increase in an attempt to cover a more than $980,000 revenue gap, according to Brandye Latimer, the city’s chief financial officer.
The possible increase was part of a budget discussion at city hall Thursday evening.
An increase of 2.46 mills, which Latimer said would balance the budget, is the equivalent of approximately $24.60 more per year on a home valued at $100,000, according to figures provided by the city.
Meridian has not had a tax increase in more than 10 years, according to city leaders.
Councilman Tyrone Johnson, who represents Ward 2, said he would likely vote against raising taxes.
“I want to see more things in the budget dealing with what are we going to do to enhance our community,” he said. “I understand that goods and services must be done, but we need to be creating opportunity for people that want to come back here or people who live here to enhance their abilities, so I don’t see that in the budget.”
An earlier draft of the budget had a gap of $1.2 million, according to numbers provided by city leaders on Aug. 27.
Since then, the city has discussed cutting out $35,000 for a filter tank and bathroom upgrades at the Velma Young pool and $100,000 for materials used for work orders for the public works department, Latimer said.
Ward 1 Councilman George Thomas proposed a 1% cut from all city departments.
Such a move would remove approximately $76,000 from the fire department, which has a budget of $7.6 million, Latimer said.
The future of the Lakeview Municipal Golf Course remains uncertain.
Council members discussed removing an unfilled position and transferring $100,000 from the general fund or raising fees to help keep it open, according to Latimer.
The city has until the end of the month to pass a budget for fiscal year 2020.