Commerce’s city manager Pete Pyrzenski and finance director James Wascher breathed sighs of relief last week after Jackson County tax commissioner Don Elrod sent tax digest figures for 2013.
After four consecutive years of digest declines, the 2013 tax digest “is flat,” Pyrzenski said.
It used to be that a flat tax digest was bad news because it meant that revenue per mill of taxes did not increase. But after seeing the digest go down for four years, suddenly having flat numbers is a good thing.
“If today we receive a flat digest, it’s good news,” Pyrzenski pointed out. “It is a relief.”
That news coupled with the news that the city stands to gain a huge new natural gas customer as Athens Wood Pellets buys the former Louisiana Pacific plant in Center, suggests Commerce’s financial fortunes are improving.
In the meantime, though, the city manager is not counting his revenue before it arrives.
“What we need to do is to continue to maintain our efficiency and present smart decisions,” he said. “The word for right now is ‘stability’ and to focus on those efficiencies that lead to better operation procedures and how we do business. It’s been a learned behavior — we learned to deal with it and we’ll capitalize on that as we go forward."
For the full story, see the Sept. 4 issue of The Commerce News.