I don’t often write about updates on sales tax revenues, but given the ever-changing economic outlooks we hear about in the news and the importance of keeping our budget in line with revenue, I thought I’d touch on the subject a bit this week to let you know how things are going.
First off, I’m happy to report that the city finished its FY2012 year (which ended Sept. 30) more than 5 percent above FY2011 totals in our general 1 percent sales tax. We had not budgeted for such an increase, thereby helping to increase our budget reserves a bit faster than we had otherwise expected. In other words, we didn’t spend it. Instead, we put the extra aside and kept it in the bank. Unlike our colleagues in Washington D.C., we don’t make it a practice to spend every dime we have.
As for this year, I’m happy to report that sales tax revenues for the city remain very close to budget expectations and our general assumptions for FY2013. Through the first two months of this fiscal year (which started in October), the city is 1.37 percent below last year’s same period revenue. Since we planned for a larger drop (expecting post-tornado spending related to Joplin to decrease), we’re actually ahead of where we want to be going into December. I feel it’s a very positive sign that we’re on track (albeit we have 10 months to go) to meet our revenue numbers.
I also want to update you on the progress of rebuilding the sewer retention basin that failed during flooding in March of this year. That failure required a redesign of the entire basin and a significant construction investment to bring the basin back online. Significant changes had to be made to ensure it would hold up to its intended design load in the future. Given the March failure was in the design and not the construction, the repair bills were paid by those at fault in the design and at no cost to the city. I applaud the firm’s willingness to stand behind their work. I also wish to thank Branco for the excellent job making the repairs in a timely manner so we are ready for springtime rains next year. While the failure was unfortunate, the effort put forth to fix it couldn’t have gone better!
Since this is my last column you’ll read before Thanksgiving, let me say my “thanks” to everyone who works in, lives in, and supports our city. We have so many things to be thankful for. Please be safe in your travels over the holiday. Until next time: stay the course, keep the faith, and may God bless Neosho!
Page 2 of 2 - Richard Davidson is mayor of Neosho.