Not Enough Coming In, Too Much Going Out

POSTED - NOVEMBER 27, 2007     5:35 P.M. CST

POINSETT COUNTY - Due mainly to the fact that not everyone pays their taxes on time, the money going out isn't equal to the money coming in.

In Poinsett county, a recent vote by the quorum court moved a 1 mil income from the county road fund to the county general fund causing several towns in Poinsett county, a shortfall for next years budget.

Trumann Mayor, Sheila Walters, "For each one mil the cities in the county get fifty percent or half a mil, and its dispersed according to population. The original number we were given was 24 Thousand Four Hundred and Seventy dollars. Ideally if everyone paid their taxes, the estimated sum was between Sixteen Thousand and Twenty Thousand dollars that we would be losing in revenue."

This lost revenue means Trumann will not be able to hire an additional person for the street department, they are down to four with no additional personnel being hired this year.

Walters, "We did not give a raise this year, in the city of Trumann because we could not afford it, I'm thankful that everyone could keep their job we did not cut any employees, if someone retired or quit, we did not replace them except in the police department ."

And the lack of income is a two edged sword.

The main reason the mil was moved is that the county, by law, can not operate in the red. And even though the books show a 500 thousand dollar balance, after you take out the three hundred sixty five thousand dollars in debt, the county only has today (Tuesday), about a Hundred and Forty Thousand dollars to operate on.   This debt does not include an upcoming payroll the county must meet.

One of the issues I heard was that the county was going to give a three percent raise to their employees, as of Tuesday,  there has been no firm word on how much if any was going to be given it still depends on income and if the red can be erased from the books.

According to state law the quorum court can only vote on  millage once a year. So until November of 2008, the towns in Poinsett county will have tug a little tighter on the belt.

Walters, "We've already cut to the bone, we did that this year and I expect next year to be worse. "