PHILADELPHIA, Miss.–The Philadelphia board of alderman will take a final vote on the city budget today, which will likely include a tax increase. The proposed increase would be one mill, or about $360,000 divided among all city taxpayers.
Mayor James Young said the increase will cover a raise for city employees of $1.25 per hour. But, he tells our newsgathering partners at WTOK News Center 11, that the increase is about more than raises.
“The presumption that we raised taxes just to pay employees is way out of whack. I don’t mind saying it, that was not it at all. It’s a number of things we are having to do moving forward in this community,” he said. “We’re paving streets; we are doing lots of things that you can see.”
Young said he understands that a tax raise is rarely met with favor in the community.
“The word tax makes so many folks curse. Being honest, we wouldn’t be having the bridges done, we wouldn’t be having the streets done, we wouldn’t be able to provide any services to our people from cemetery services to police services without some means of funding,” he said.
But, the mayor defended the idea of giving city workers a raise.
“I’ll say this. This is probably the only place I know where people put their whole house, if they move, they put it on the street and we haul it off. So if people complain about me paying our employees and giving them a raise, I’m going silent because you don’t deserve a comment,.”