When It Comes to Money

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Spring is a time for love, a time for rebirth and, when it comes to government, a time for budgeting.

The city's budget hearings began last night with finance and debt service and continue tonight with Human Resources at 5:15 p.m. and police services at 6:30 p.m.

Rounding out the rest of the week is executive, fire, public works, and the sewer fund.

Budget hearings will continue through the middle of May and then the wrap-up will be held the last week of May.

In light of that, I thought I'd post this graph from the City of Memphis' Comprehensive Annual Financial Report Year Ended June 30, 2006.

budgetscan.pdf

As you can see (if you click on it), property taxes made up just less than 30 percent of the general fund revenues in 1996. In 2006, that number was more than 10 percent higher.

Here's what the report says: "The chart shows that Memphis' Current Property Taxes and Local Sales Tax maintained rough parity as the two largest single revenue sources through fiscal year 2000. Since then, there has been a growing dependence on the property tax as both Local Sales Tax and State Shared Taxes have trended downwards as a percentage of total revenues."

(Just an aside: At the time, the average sales price of a home in Memphis was $164,300.)

What I'm trying to say, in my oh-so-round-about way, is that this is YOUR money. And right now, the City Council is deciding what to spend it on.

Interested in the full schedule of budget hearings, click here.

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