City to be commended on finances

Published 9:21 pm Saturday, May 9, 2009

A wise man once said that making money is simple.

Spend less than you earn.

It’s a lesson the City of Andalusia is demonstrating well.

Faced with an uncertain and shaky economy as the administration prepared to take office last fall, the group made a gut-wrenching decision, agreeing to rescind a previously-approved cost of living raise for employees.

And employees have bought in to the mindset of saving.

Earlier this week, the mayor and city clerk shared figures for the first five months of the current fiscal year, which showed the city had collected more revenue than last year, and had managed to spend less money than in the same period last year.

“The credit goes to our folks,” Johnson said. “We’ve been very, very frugal with expenses.”

Johnson said keeping a reign on expenses and the good fortune of having a slight increase in sales tax revenues have put Andalusia in a good situation, and one envied by other municipalities struggling to overcome revenue deficits and rising expenses.

Friday, the city got even more good financial news when sales tax figures for the month of March were released and showed a 6.4 percent increase over the same period last year. Shopping locally is the best way to help the local economy, the mayor said.

“We have a 2 percent sales tax in the city and every dollar spent at home helps the local economy and the city. The county receives exactly the same amount of sales taxes as we do in Andalusia, plus what they collect in other areas of the county. Shopping here is good for the city and good for the county.”

We couldn’t agree more.

Local residents are to be praised for keeping their tax dollars at home where they can work for them. And our city leaders deserve our thanks for minding those dollars frugally.