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Will Oxonians face rising rates?

Whether Oxonians will see a rise in their millage rates this coming year will be discussed during the next few weeks as the Oxford Board of Aldermen and Mayor Robyn Tannehill begin reviewing each department’s budget and overall revenues and expenses for the city.

Currently, the millage rate for Oxford is 30.22. In 2014, the aldermen approved a 3-mill raise over three years (at 1 mill each year) to help cover the cost of building additional roads—mainly West Oxford Loop Extended and Sisk Avenue Extended.

Budget hearings for the fiscal year 2017-2018 start Tuesday at 9 a.m. at City Hall. Departments listed on the agenda for budget review are: Human Resources; Building Department; Building and Grounds; Family Crisis Services; Oxford-Lafayette County Public Library and the Planning Department.

Meetings will continue at 1 p.m. on Aug. 14.

After each department head meets with the board and mayor, the aldermen discuss where cuts can be made, if necessary. They will review the city’s 2 percent food and beverage tax, as well as the interest payment from the city’s $30 million investment in selling Baptist, and decide what projects or equipment should be funded from those revenues.

Later this month, they will review whether a tax increase will be needed to fund the budget or additional road and infrastructure projects; however, another millage rate increase is not expected for the upcoming fiscal year.

The aldermen will also review salaries and decide on what—if any—cost-of-living-raise should be given to city employees. They’ll also vote on merit raises for several employees.

The fiscal year for the city runs from Oct. 1 to Sept. 30.

The final FY2017-2018 budget must be approved by Sept. 15.