Borrowing funds each year adds up

Published 12:08 am Sunday, January 26, 2014

Are the city leaders in McComb simply better financial managers than the leaders in Natchez?

One could certainly think McComb folks all have financial planning degrees when you consider that over the last several years, McComb has managed to save up a $4 million rainy day fund while Natchez continues to live hand-to-mouth.

For the past decade, Natchez has had to borrow more than what McComb has managed to save. Why? Just to get the bills paid.

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We’ve long been critical of the city’s practices with regard to their use of tax-anticipation loans.

Initially, the city was borrowing money in one fiscal year and paying it off in the next fiscal year. Fortunately, the city appears to have ended that horrible practice.

Still, the borrowing and paying back has cost taxpayers approximately $50,000 over the last decade.

In the grand scheme of a multi-million dollar per year budget, spending a few thousand on interest payments may not seem like a big deal. But shouldn’t the goal of the city be to carefully protect residents not only from physical dangers, but also fiscal ones?

The interest money given to banks could have been put to better use for the public good in a myriad of ways.

We urge city aldermen to continue pressing to get accurate information given to them from the city clerk’s office so aldermen can be equipped to make sound choices about how to spend taxpayer money.

The continued borrowing — despite more than $1 million additional funds coming into the city— looks like poor fiscal management by the city.