TUNICA, MS (abc24.com) - Think taxes are bad where you live? They're prepping for a major property tax hike in Tunica, a 30 percent increase.
Tunica's Board of Supervisors says making residents pay more is the only way to dig the county out of a huge hole.
"30 percent? That's a big jump isn't it? That's too much," says local business owner Annie Meredith.
To put it in perspective, annual taxes on a $100,000 Tunica County home will jump $177.50, going from $487 to nearly $665.
"Who can afford anything anymore? Every thing's going up," Meredith says.
"It is sticker shock for a lot of people. I understand with the economy being so tight there are concerns," says County Administrator Clifton Johnson. He says Tunica's in a tight spot with this year's $47 million budget.
"There was a $2.9 million deficit if we made no changes."
Over the last few years, money from casinos, Tunica's bread and butter, has dropped almost 30 percent. Expenses haven't.
Tunica has got to make that money up somewhere, hence the huge tax hike. Johnson says in addition to that, $2 million is being cut from county services.
"We're reducing funding to parks and recreation, our Chancery Clerk's office, the county administration office," he lists. But cuts aren't enough, so taxing the 11,000 residents looks like a done deal.
"County residents haven't had property tax increases since early the 1990s," Johnson says. That doesn't mean it will be any easier to take.
The board will finalize the budget and set taxes on September 17th. The meeting is at 5 p.m. at the courthouse. Johnson's expecting a crowd.