Taxes Down

ST. MARYS — Income tax receipts for November were off more than $40,000 from last year’s figures.

Last month, the city collected $262,863.34 in income taxes, down from $305,963.27 in 2010. The figure also is less than the totals collected in 2008 and 2009, which were $335,802.92 and $301,738.72, respectively.

“We just haven’t been collecting enough revenue because people aren’t making as much as what they had,” Mayor-elect Pat McGowan said. “I don’t know if it’s because of unemployment, but certainly it’s something we have to take a look at.”

An up and down year has put the city on pace to collect less revenue this year than it did in 2010. To date, the city has collected $3.416 million, down from $3.562 million in 2010.

The city eclipsed the $3.284 million collected in 2009, but was almost $1 million off the $4.326 million collected in 2008.

“I look closely at it,” McGowan said of tax collections. “When I get into office, one of my goals is to sit down with each department head and compare budgets to their plans. You always need to look at economies of scale and see where you can cut back. I am sure everyone is feeling they are taxed enough, and you just don’t want to put any more burden on the public if you can help it. We need to look at the budgets and make sure we are spending wisely.”

Two areas McGowan said he wants to protect are the police and fire departments.

“All services are important,” McGowan said. “The issue with trash and water and departments like those is that they generate a lot of their own revenue, where police and fire do not.”