Conservator prioritizes leadership, teaching
It’s already a month beyond the date Dr. Margie Pulley became Conservator of Education for the Tunica County School District, and the walls in her office are still bare, but her desk is covered with files to review, paperwork to sign, and materials to read. In other words, she is busy – very busy.
As the school year kicks off, Pulley shared the district’s goals, current enrollment, current teacher needs, and changes in administration. On every front, things are looking more positive for the district that recently underwent the abolishment of its governing board and superintendent.
Property owners feeling tax pinch
For 17 years, town of Tunica residents paid no municipal property tax, as gaming taxes grew and replaced ad valorem taxes as the primary revenue source.
“It’s been great,” commented Tunica mayor Chuck Cariker at last Friday’s town budget and tax hearing.
Now, however, with gaming taxes declining and Tunica County withholding the town’s portion of the local gaming tax, reserves are depleting rapidly. Town officials voted July 28 to reinstate a property tax, starting with the 2015 tax year.
Cariker explained that a 20 mill tax will produce about $160,000 in new revenue for the town’s general fund. He added that aldermen had also approved a proposed three mill tax for the Tunica library and four mills for solid waste collection.
Several citizens who attended the hearing asked why town officials opted to propose the highest millage possible.
Team is having positive impact on community’s health
The message about safe sleeping practices for infants has resonated in Tunica County and resulted in a noteworthy tally of zero infant deaths related to sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) for the past couple of years in the county, according to Tunica County Coroner Glenn Grant.
“Tunica County has really been blessed,” he said.
One project that may have contributed to the county’s success in this area is the Healthy Start Initiative, which is brought to the county by Tougaloo College’s Delta Health Partners. Delta Health Partners has worked to reduce infant mortality among high-risk and underserved residents of the Mississippi Delta for more than 15 years.
“Every baby deserves a healthy start,” Grant said.
Town proposes budget, tax levy
The Town of Tunica has budgeted $3,402,675 for 2015-2016, scaling back $1.7 million from what was projected for the prior fiscal year. Citizens are invited to a public hearing on the proposed budget at Town Hall today (Friday), Aug. 14 at 5:30 p.m.
New revenue sources for the town include ad valorem and library taxes. Ad valorem taxes, which will be assessed on homes inside the corporate limits, will generate approximately $160,000. The library tax is expected to produce $24,500.
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