Cape County budget stays within its means

Thursday, January 9, 2003

The Cape Girardeau Commission should be commended for its decision to tighten its belt for the 2003 budget rather than consider a proposal to increase the county's sales tax.

The county is facing its first sales-tax revenue decline -- less than half a percent -- in 22 years, according to Weldon Macke, former county auditor who retired at the end of last year..

The county has a $13.8 million budget for 2003, which is $300,000 more than last year's budget. The county also has $5 million in investments in a reserve fund

The commissioners saw no need to ask taxpayers for more money. They simply kept this year's spending plan in line with anticipated revenue for the year. It was a reasonable decision -- and one taxpayers should appreciate.

And since the biggest part of county revenue comes from sales tax, any improvement in retail sales during the year would produce more revenue for the county.

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