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Board of Aldermen approves $37 million budget

The City of Oxford approved its budget for Fiscal Year 2020, and just like the county taxpayers, Oxford residents will not see an increase in their taxes – in fact, they will see a small decrease.

The Board of Aldermen approved the $37 million budget during a recessed meeting on Thursday. The budget must be approved 15 days before the start of the next fiscal year, which is Oct. 1. It was the same meeting in which the City announced the process in which to purchase the new downtown parking permits.

The City’s millage rate remained at 31.22, and the total millage rate for the city and the Oxford School District combined is 92.73. The OSD millage rate dropped 1.03 mills from last year’s budget, leading to the decrease in Oxford citizens’ taxes.

“It is critical that we prioritize and that takes a while,” Mayor Robyn Tannehill said of the budget process. “A lot of people around the table from your aldermen to department heads, talking about the needs of our growing community. I think the number of hours that was invested this year, its evident when you look at the budget. We had to really tighten our belt when we’re looking at providing the level of service our citizens expect (in the) 10 square miles that we previously have not taken care of. It’s been difficult to figure out all the pieces of the puzzle, but I think we have done it in the most efficient and effect way.”

The City’s projected revenue for the next fiscal year is projected at $37,155,486. Revenue comes from fines, forfeits, governmental services, licenses and permits and the Ad Valorem tax.

All full-time City employees are receiving a cost of living raise of 1.5 percent. The biggest portion of the budget is going toward the Oxford Police Department, which is getting a budget of just over $8 million. The money will be used for new vehicles, as well as new body cameras and tasers for officers. The Oxford Fire Department will receive a budget of a little over $7.5 million, which includes the new Oxford Commons fire station.

The City’s roadways department will receive a total budget of $3,689,901. Oxford Park Commission is receiving a budget of $1,489,314.