Hattiesburg, Mississippi – On Tuesday, September 13, the Hattiesburg City Council voted unanimously to pass a $140.4 million budget for Fiscal Year 2023.
“This budget makes significant progress on infrastructure and employee pay while maintaining a structurally balanced general fund for a third consecutive year,” said Mayor Toby Barker. “Increased sales taxes have reached their highest levels in our city’s history, and that has allowed us to take some positive steps forward. Still, we must keep our revenue estimates for FY 2023 somewhat conservative, as next year’s economic outlook remains uncertain.”
Highlights of the budget include:
- Continued structural balance for the third consecutive year in the city’s general fund. Of the $140.4 million total budget, the city’s general fund comprises $58.1 million.
- No property tax increases. City millage remains at 53.13 mills for Fiscal Year 2023.
- Continued investment in paving and drainage. $2.6 million will be allocated for paving. A scheduled increase in the city’s diversion of use tax will likely push these amounts higher.
- Responsible revenue outlook. The administration projects sales tax revenues at $25.5 million. While this would be the city’s highest projected amount to begin a fiscal year, it is still lower than the total sales taxes produced in the current fiscal year.
In addition to balanced budgeting practices with a focus on the City’s infrastructure, the budget will also address salaries and wages for personnel in several departments. Specifically, the Fiscal Year 2023 budget will address pay raises for the following:
- Most full-time employees in general fund departments will receive $1 per hour wage increase, raising the minimum wage to $13 – continued investment with a goal of getting minimum wage up to $15 per hour.
- Police and fire pay scale levels will be increased by $2000
- Water and sewer personnel will receive years of service raise
To meet state statutes, the budget had to be passed by Thursday, September 15. This is the sixth consecutive budget passed with support from all five council members during our administration.