STARKVILLE — Oktibbeha County residents will not see a tax increase from the Starkville-Oktibbeha Consolidated School District this year.
The district’s chief financial officer Tammie McGarr gave the first public presentation to the board Thursday night for the Fiscal Year 2023 budget, reporting SOCSD can meet its funding obligations without increasing the millage rate for ad valorem taxes. That’s in spite of the fact the district will request almost $1.2 million more from local sources this year to fund operations, debt service and Millsaps Vocational Center.
The total ad valorem SOCSD intends to request is $29,877,373. Most of that ($24,897,925) is for operations, while $4,526,771 is for debt service and $452,677 will fund Millsaps. This will be collected with 66.16 mills of ad valorem taxes, which are based on assessed private property values in the district.
McGarr told the board since property values rose within SOCSD over the past year, the mill value increased, meaning it will collect more taxes without the rate having to be raised. For example, the amount one mill collected in 2022 was about $434,000, according to numbers McGarr presented. In Fiscal Year 2023, it is expected to collect roughly $451,000.
After the meeting, board president Wes Gordon lauded the city and county growth that drove the increased mill value.
“We’re fortunate to live in Starkville where people are constantly moving here and (we’re getting) new construction,” Gordon told The Dispatch. “When your ad valorem goes up because of the amount of people moving to Starkville, that’s good. That’s a win. We’re, I think, the second largest employer in the county, so it costs a lot of money to run these schools. We’re fortunate enough to live in a fairly growing city, so it’s nice. … It’s a win-win for everybody.”
SOCSD’s board is expected to vote on the budget at its next meeting, scheduled for 6 p.m. Aug. 9 at the Greensboro Center.