LIBERTY — Amite County School District Trustees voted Thursday to request additional tax dollars to prop up its projected 2020-21 budget of nearly $16 million and to cut spending by more than a million dollars.

The district will request $3.658 million of its projected $15.905 million revenue in property tax funds, which will require county supervisors to increase the millage rate from 31.60 mills to a projected 32.39 mills next year, business manager Lyndsey Thornton Latham said.  

The proposed millage increase would amount to about an extra $8 a year on a $100,000 house.

Millage rates determine taxes owed on real estate and vehicles. The school district has until July 15 to submit the budget request to county supervisors. The budget takes effect July 1.

The total property tax base in Amite County for 2021 is worth $3.535 million, up from $3.402 million this year, Latham said.

The district is expected to receive $4.9 million in Mississippi Adequate Education Program funding.

One resident attended the public hearing. The board adopted the budget without discussion.

Board president James Copeland and trustees Monica Z. Johnson and Cissy Fenn voted in favor, while trustees Cindy Newman and Dr. Diane Cook were absent.

Through careful planning, the district was able to cut projected expenditures by nearly $1.4 million, Latham said.

She projected $11.977 million in expenditures for the upcoming year, down from $13.352 million during the current year.

District salaries and benefits should account for $5.994 million of expenditures, down from $6.460 million in the current fiscal year.

Latham said district financial personnel managed to cut expenses across the board but particularly for special education.

“That was pretty much just getting the SPED what the state requirements require — nothing extra,” she said.

In a separate matter, the district will pay attorney Nathaniel Armistead $36,000 for legal services.

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