Chickens Coming Home To Roost

January 23, 2014

More Info From the Memphis CAFR

Pick up the CA and you will get more articles than you can read over your morning coffee. They all point to the upcoming decisions of the Mayor and the City Council. The chickens are coming home to roost as they have been disturbed by the noise of the cans that have been kicked down the road.

As I sift through the current 2013 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) of the City of Memphis, I decided to compare several pages from the 2008 CAFR with the same pages from the 2013 CAFR.

This is the Statement of Revenues, Expenditures and Changes in Fund Balances/Governmental Funds.

Under Revenues here are some comparisons.

2008                          2013

Local Taxes                                       $548 million                        $532 million

Local taxes are down $16 million due to people leaving, a poorer population, whatever

State taxes                                        $96 million               $89 million

State taxes down $7 million. What happened to EDGE promises of growth due to Pilots?

Fines and forfeitures, up $4 million, charges for services up $15 million.  The City is raising money by raising fines and forfeitures and charges for services like street lights and other items on the back of your MLGW bill.

Federal and State grants and entitlements up $25 million. Overall revenue is up $10 million due mainly to increased federal and state grants. We can’t make it on our own.

On the expenditure side, public safety is up $36 million, capital outlay up $44 million and redemption of bonds and notes and interest cost up $41 million.

We issued $115 million in debt.

We are on the edge and we need to rethink city management and finances. Maybe it is time to rethink our civic model along the lines of Sandy Springs, Georgia as illustrated in a New York Times article.

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