No tax hike for Hernando, Mississippi residents

With Hernando, Mississippi growing by leaps and bounds, city leaders promise residents one thing that won't grow is their tax bill.

Hernando adopted a no-tax-hike budget that will beef up public safety and parks and recreation programs.

It's an old campaign cliche--no new taxes. But for once, it's actually a reality in Hernando.

Hernando plans to spend more money, more than $16 million. But, it won't cost you a penny.

The mayor and board of alderman say they will not raise taxes even though the budget is growing to record proportions.

A possibility, they say, that's based on exponential growth.

In the year 2000, the population inside city limits was about 70,000 people. Now, it's about 14,000--twice as large in just seven years.

The construction is everywhere: on new roads and on new buildings.

According Mayor Chip Johnson, the city getting bigger means big things, including a bigger police department. Hernando is set to hire new police officers.

"Not that we necessarily have to have them right now, but we're trying to stay ahead of the groove. We've found that if you can keep your percentage numbers a little bit higher on your police ration to population, it keeps the crime from even starting," says Johnson.

The mayor says all that growth will also force the city to spend more money on the fire department, and the parks department.

Literally, there are more city services at the same cost because there's more people.


to email Nick Kenney.