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West Memphis final tax numbers strong

West Memphis final tax numbers strong


West Memphis final tax numbers strong

City revenues passes $ 9 million in 2015

One small stride for West Memphis, one impressive landmark achieved. End-ofyear numbers are in, and for the first time ever, the Wonder City surpassed the $9 million milestone in sales tax revenue.

While that may sound like a lot, said City Treasurer Frank Martin, he also pointed out that actual income just outpaced the budget for the year. In looking at the figures, he attributed the boon to the strength of the city’s leaders, cost-conscious city workers and frugal department managers.

Martin said employees worked efficiently and department heads watched their expenses like hawks in 2015 to balance the budget. The December 31 sales tax report was announced at the March Budget Commission meeting, capping off the year’s revenue reporting for the city.

The sales tax budget was 8.8 (million) and came in at nine million,” said Martin.

“It’s the first time over nine million, and just barely, by $12,000. While it’s a new milestone, it’s really thanks to our taxpayers. And to our department heads and employees for keeping city operating costs down.”

Overall revenue showed a close margin, too. General revenues, added to interdepartmental income, fees for services, and transferring funds came in at $18,868,700 with the projected hopes having been budgeted at $18,166,000 for 2015.

The bigger departments in the city showed more actual dollars squeezed in cost containment measures. The Police Department saved about $1,200 per week against budget last year at total of $64,000, sparing overtime expenses entirely. The Fire Department came within $57,000 of its max budget. The street department showed a six-figure savings between and planned spending actual expenditures. Sanitation eked out $8,000 in savings expenses-to-plan.

Most other departments showed modest savings against budget, offsetting Planning & Development and Animal Control spending more than originally budgeted.

The Utility Department brought in just over $33 million, $1.9 million over projection. Department employees had hoped the performance was enough for a raise (outside of an acrossthe- board raise all city employees received at the first of the year) but City Council turned them down earlier in the month. Budget chairman Tracy Catt tasked with the investigation has been holding meetings every week for the quest.

Catt said he is hoping to quickly forge a working relationship with the city’s new incoming Human Resources manager to help in the wage analysis, but expects any additional raises would have to wait on an increased revenue flow, citing the narrow margin of last year’s budget-to-rev REVENUE

Continued from Page 1 enue figures as a caution flag.

“A look at expenses is all well and good,” said Catt, “but we know that will be a short (look). We might as well look at the revenue side to see what is out there, if anything at all. If there is not one cent city council can raise, we are at an impasse.”

By John Rech

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