Jackson residents got some good news from city hall earlier this month: The city's electric rates won't be increased, even though budgeted spending of $30.07 million will likely exceed revenue from all sources (utility funds, sales taxes, general revenue, grants) by about $3 million. Carry-over balances from previous years will be used to make up the difference.
From last 2006 until mid-2007, Jackson phased in increases in electricity rates that raised revenue 40 percent. The reason was the higher cost of electricity the city purchases to resell to its customers.
With most governmental entities facing tough budget decisions because of declining revenue, all possible revenue streams must be considered.
But even though sales tax revenue in Jackson declined 3.72 percent last year from the year before, city officials said other revenue sources and belt-tightening would be used to balance the budget rather that raising the cost of electricity.