Taxes likely going up in two DeSoto cities

OLIVE BRANCH, Miss. — Hold onto your wallet if you live in Southaven or Olive Branch — it looks like taxes are going up.

Both cities say they need the money for police, fire and other critical needs, but taxpayers say they still need a little breathing room from the recession.

Chamekia Wilson says there’s no doubt, some things in Olive Branch need fixing.

”There area some roads that need to be paved because there’s a lot of bumpy roads that people complain about,” she said.

After all, this is one of the fastest growing towns in the country, so after seven years of holding the line, Mayor Scott Phillips says, reluctantly, it’s time to raise taxes.

”This is kinda your backyard tax,” he said. “This is something that’s going to overlay our roads, it’s gonna continue to enhance our public safety and on and on…”

It would cost the average taxpayer just less than $65 a year.

But Olive Branch isn’t the only DeSoto city taking tax increase.

Southaven leaders have indicated they want to move garbage fees off the property tax roles and go back to charging monthly for it, keeping the difference.

Southaven Alderman Shirley Beshears, says the money is slated to go to police, fire, and code enforcement,

Back in Olive Branch, Mayor Phillips says he’s kicked the tax can as far down the road as he can.

”I want the citizens to be involved. I want them to see, feel, smell and touch what they’re gonna get for their dollar,” he said.

But taxpayers still say it’s a lot to swallow.

”Hard times, these days everybody from the rich to the poor are suffering, so I think it would be better if we try to keep taxes as low as possible,” said Wilson.

”Nobody wants to raise taxes. Neither do I,” Phillips said.

But he added rising costs demand he propose a tax increase to aldermen tonight.

Southaven has a public hearing on it’s budget next Tuesday and a vote on September 2nd.



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