JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) — The Jackson City Council adopted budget for about $382 million during Thursday’s council meeting.
The new budget covers a $15 million shortfall, but it means most city employees will be furloughed. The budget passed with a vote of 5 to 2 by council members.
Councilman Kenneth Stokes and Budget Committee Chairman De’Keither Stamps voted against the budget, which includes furloughs, freezing hires in all departments, and cutting some jobs.
An 8 percent property tax was not approved.
“The people did not want a tax increase so we didn’t do a tax increase, said Councilman Melvin Preister, who voted for the budget.
“We have to invest in things that will increase revenue, said Councilman Stamps. “If we don’t increase revenue we’ll be back in this same spot next year.”
Mayor Tony Yarber couldn’t tell us how many people would be affected by the furloughs, and he doesn’t know how many jobs may be cut. He said the cuts will be left up to the department heads.
Mayor Yarber said he will be taking a 5 percent pay cut along with everyone else.
Yarber makes $120,000 a year. At a five percent cut, he’ll make about $6,000 less.
“It calls for us to be creative,” said Police Chief Lee Vance. “But at the same time were dedicated to public safety.”
No one on the police force or working for the fire department will be furloughed. However, the freezing hire does apply to those departments.
“So as administrators it’s our job to provide services despite the restrictions of the budget,” Chief Vance said. “And I believe we will be able to do that.”
The new budget goes into effect October 1 and could be reviewed and amended in January.