West Point council discusses fifth consecutive millage rate rollback

Published 9:27 am Thursday, July 28, 2022

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With three council members and the city manager absent, West Point Mayor Steve Tramell, council members Joel Finley, Sandra Thornton, and DeeDee Williams briefly discussed the 2022 millage rate.

City clerk Richard McCoy recommended, on behalf of the city staff, a rollback of the millage rate from 8.818 to 8.337 mills for 2022. If approved, this rollback would be the fifth consecutive year the council voted to roll back the millage rate.

“The 2021 millage rate was at 8.818,” McCoy said. “The 2022 millage rate with the rollback … would be through 8.337. If we leave it at 8.337, and that’s what staff is recommending for the 2022 millage rate, that does not constitute an increase in taxes.”

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Like 2021, councilmember Williams expressed a desire to consider rolling the millage rate back even further than the recommended 8.337.

“What I remember about last year is that my recommendation was that we go down more than what we went down,” Williams said. “I’m in the same place that I was last year. It did not fly last year. With the property values increasing and citizens paying more. Because if you go with the same millage rate and your property’s increased, then you’re going to collect more money.”

Williams did not discount potential increased expenses but said she wanted to review whether the additional funding is needed and what the city would use those funds for.

“When I come into West Point, I don’t really see that we’re a rich city,” Williams said. “What I see is not something that says this is a town that’s got plenty of resources to do what they need to do, and they’re doing it. We continue to pay as if we, you know, we are one of those elite cities, but we can’t afford a pool. I don’t want to beat a dead horse, but there are so many things that we need in the city that we’re not funding.”

Tramell said while he is in favor of keeping the millage rates down, he remains concerned with city expenses.

“We don’t know how expenses are going to be even for the next two or three quarters,” Tramell said. “I’m the first one in favor of keeping them down, down down I don’t know if I’m gonna live long enough to see us ever get zero.”

The council is expected to vote on the millage rate on Aug. 8.