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WM tax numbers level off

WM tax numbers level off


WM tax numbers level off

Dip in revenues, but city still in the black

After a roller-coaster year, West Memphis city sales tax revenues have fallen flat. City Treasurer Frank Martin reported the results during a recent Budget Committee meeting.

Comparing October this year to last year’s figures, numbers showed tax revenues down $10,334 from 2015, a 1.36 percent decline. The October dip represents half of the actual

underperformance year-todate overall. This year, five months were up and five down, resulting in an overall drop $21,342 for the first 10 months of 2016, but the conservative city budget is still $109,000 to the good.

The news had not stopped some city employees from wondering about a year-end bonus. Martin said he has taken calls from a few city employees wondering about a holiday bonus.

“It’s not my call,” said Martin. “But the mayor asked for these numbers and they are in his hand. I don’t know what he will do.”

City employees enjoyed a 3-percent bonus last year in time for the door buster and Internet sales just after Thanksgiving. That bonus cost $400,000. Then City workers enjoyed their first raise in years with a three percent increase at the first of this year. Employees landed on the positive side again as the city moved to a bi-weekly payroll and bypassed a holdback period with the first check in January.

Not all the tax revenue was as glum.

Martin then revealed tax revenue from Southland.

Year-to-date tax collections from Southland Park Gaming & Racing remained strong. Revenue for October was up 13.37 percent.

The increase over last year stood at 12.46 percent.

Martin made observations on revenue from Southland. “We budgeted $2.5 million for the year and we’ve already surpassed that,” said Martin. “We’ll be a halfmillion

above that budgeted amount by year’s end.”

By John Rech

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