Tax revenue should mean stronger city

Published 12:05 am Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Natchez residents received good news and bad news recently. The good news is sales tax collections are up!

In fact, sales tax numbers have been increasing for the last three fiscal years. Perhaps that news should be given just a bit more praise. That’s great news! Not all cities can say that tax revenues are on the increase.

Clearly, something is going well in the City of Natchez.

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But the bad news is the city still seems to be floundering when it comes to fiscal management and accountability of its public funds.

Despite a jackpot of more than $1 million that comes annually from the lease of the city’s riverfront land to a casino and a trifecta increase in sales tax revenues, Natchez still seems on the brink of financial trouble.

Without the aid of grant funding, many of the city’s public buildings would be in worse shape than ever.

We’re fortunate city leaders are savvy enough to apply for and often receive grants, but what will the city do if the grant pipeline runs out?

Recently, we reported the nearby City of McComb — smaller in size to Natchez, but in the same region of the state economically — managed to scrimp and save their way to an approximately $4 million reserve fund.

Are Natchez city leaders working toward a similar financial position? If not, why aren’t city voters demanding such out of their government?