Tax revenues are great, be careful

Published 12:09 am Friday, April 17, 2009

Recession? What recession?

Natchez shoppers didn’t let a depressing national economy get in the way of their local spending in February.

For the first time in three months, local sales tax revenues were up for the month of February.

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Pilgrimage hadn’t started, Christmas was over and retailers only had the hope of chocolate-deprived lovers on Valentine’s Day to get the cash registers cha-chinging again.

Everyone has his or her own theory as to why the numbers are up, but one way or the other, the 8.59-percent increase is great.

The city depends on those dollars to meet its budget.

City officials no doubt breathed a sigh of relief this week when the numbers were released.

But no one should get too comfortable just yet.

The mayor and the department heads were in the process of examining the budget, crunching the numbers and saving some dough.

That process needs to continue. Whether the recession has — or ever will — hit Natchez fully, we don’t know.

But at least for the immediate future, the city needs to be careful with our money. Don’t make major cuts to jobs or services if they aren’t necessary, but know the numbers.

And be frugal.