City considering $300K tax anticipation loan

Published 12:06am Wednesday, October 10, 2012

NATCHEZ — The Natchez Board of Aldermen voted Monday to approve the advertisement for bids for a $300,000 loan to fund city operations until tax revenues start coming in.

The vote came at the request of City Clerk Donnie Holloway, who said the tax-anticipation note would be used to keep things running through December. The city will still have to receive bids from banks and accept a proposal before the loan is taken.

After the aldermen voted to approve the clerk’s request Tuesday, Alderman Dan Dillard said the best way to understand the tax-anticipation loan is to look at it as the city borrowing from itself —in this case, revenues that the city will receive in February or March.

“It is not a loan in the most conventional sense, but it is allowing us to move our revenues forward,” Dillard said.

The aldermen likewise said that such actions are in line with how most cities run their business.

Holloway said the interest rate the city will have to pay on the note would ultimately be determined by the bids the city receives.

Mayor Butch Brown said that he believed the city would not have to take out tax-anticipation loans at the beginning of a fiscal year if the fiscal year schedule was moved to coincide with the calendar year.

The city’s fiscal year began Oct. 1.

The aldermen also met with Norman Patterson of the Natural Resources Conservation Service, the federal agency that oversees emergency watershed projects.

During the meeting, Patterson explained to the aldermen the process by which EWPs are selected and approved, and the difference between how a normal EWP and an exigency EWP are approved.

Of particular interest to the aldermen were two projects on Oakland Drive, which the aldermen said the city had not submitted.

Patterson said he was unclear how such projects could have been approved without the city first submitting it.

“We don’t haphazardly go out looking for jobs,” he said. “We go to a job from a request. Eventually the buck will stop somewhere, because at some point the city does have to sign and agree to a financial obligation to that (project).”

Dillard said he wanted to know who was submitting such projects on behalf of the city if it wasn’t the aldermen doing so.

If the city does not want to participate in the EWP — the projects require a 15- to 25-percent financial obligation — then they do not have to, Patterson said.

“It is as simple as saying, ‘We don’t know about it, we don’t have to agree to it, and we don’t want to sign it,’” he said.

In other news:

-Natchez resident Alexander Ellis asked the aldermen if there was anything the city could do to stop the spread of kudzu from an adjacent property onto his.

Mayor Butch Brown said the city would do anything it could to help Ellis, and Alderwoman Joyce Arceneaux-Mathis promised to look at the property.

“If it is something we have caused as a city, we can negotiate, translate or communicate some way to help you, but if it is coming from private property to private property, we are at a loss,” Brown said.

Alderman Tony Fields said kudzu is a major problem in his ward.

“The kudzu is taking over everything else,” he said.

Public Works Manager Justin Dollar said the city sprays all city property to control the spread of kudzu from city to private land.

-When Fields said that a construction site on Lumber Street was spreading water and mud into neighboring lots, City Engineer David Gardner said the company in charge of construction has changed its site plan to extend a retaining wall by 100 feet and has plans to rehabilitate the neighboring lot that had been affected.

“They assured me they would do everything they can to make that lady happy,” Gardner said.

-The aldermen adjudicated 17 nuisance lots to clear the way for the city to have them cleaned and the property owners billed.

-The aldermen voted to ratify the interlocal agreements that form Metro Narcotics and the city-county fire protection plan.

The Adams County Board of Supervisors has previously ratified the agreements, with today’s vote making the arrangements final.



  • Anonymous

    Changing the fiscal year doesn’t do anything. Just spend $300,000 less.

  • Anonymous

    WHAT??? I thought collections have been running “up” for several months, now- what is the problem?
    Something smells kinda “brown” , to me…

  • Anonymous

    10 days into the new fiscal budget and the same old cash flow carryover problem.
    And along with all of the raises and spending assigned to this new budget, did you budget $300K to cover next years October to January shortage? Yeah, I didn’t think so. You’re just hoping there’s money left over by next October 1st to cover you to the following January.
    Change your fiscal year or START budgeting for this perennial “Gap”.
    It’s stupid to start a brand new budget every year with a 2-3 month loan.

  • Wilson Phillips

    Another PayDay loan.

  • Anonymous

    It would help if we didn’t buy land back for $250,000 more than we sold it for.

  • Anonymous

    They need to learn to manage money and stop creating one project behind the other with no funds to work with…. even if it did change this is a lot of money to consider… they just spend and waste money on nonsense but if someone needs a problem addressed they answer is always ” we just do not have the funds at this time to take care of it” funny how they manage to always find the funds when it is their butt over the fire…..

  • Anonymous

    Dillard Double Talk -
    1) It’s not a loan in the conventional sense? It’s a loan in EVERY sense of the word requiring interest to be paid by the taxpayer.
    2) The city borrowing from itself? Make no mistake, you’re not borrowing from yourself (the city), you’re borrowing FROM A BANK.

  • Bob Buie Sr

    Apparently, the one alderman that I thought had some common sense is turning into the “King of Spin”. Must be grooming himself for a run for mayor the next time around since that is one of the primary prerequisites for the job? This meeting was just another episode in the long running series “Lost in Space–Natchez Style” starring Natchez City Government.

    I do like the Mayor’s remedy for the fiscal fiasco though—-” If you come up seven yards short of the first down, just move the chains back far enough to give you the first down”. Hell, it doesn’t get it simpler than that. The real truth is that the city is about one whole year in shortfall with no hope of ever recovering. I would guess that the easy solution to this would be to just “x’ out one year off the calendar and everything would then be rosy!

    I wouldn’t take the city clerk’s word for anything either since he is still struggling to try, after 2 years, to put some real facts on a computer program that should have been up and running after 3 to 4 months maximum. As we speak, nobody has questioned this at all which makes me wonder if there might be a reason that city leaders don’t want the real facts presented?

    If ever a city needed a Citizens Watch Group it is Natchez. A few volunteers with just a little leadership could make a world of difference in the fiscal health of our city. One of scores of simple programs that could change the lives of all Natchezians for the better, but you have got to want it to happen before anything can ever be done.

    Bob Buie Sr

  • Anonymous

    It’s just in case..

  • Anonymous

    And you know this how?

  • Anonymous

    Agree, banks don’t loan money they don’t have, thus if you don’t have it, how can you borrow it from yourself?

  • Anonymous

    OMG are you serious? where the hell have you been …. to start the new year off with a loan? how stupid is that? it just screams no one is managing money properly…. read the articles about the city’s budget…. one time they have no money for a project or to fix this or that but they seem to find money for mindless other projects, take trips etc. at the tax payers expense… it is like they will do for themselves first and everyone and thing else comes after the fact… if you do not have the money to finish a project or do one how would you have the money to do another one that’s just as expensive? this is not rocket science here it is just lack of common sense and honesty among our elected officials.

  • Anonymous

    You are talking to a brick wall. There are none so ignorant as those who will not learn.