October 5, 2013

Pittman touts ‘sound financial management’

Submitted by Murray County Government

— When Sole Commissioner Brittany Pittman took office on Jan. 1, Murray County’s general fund beginning-year balance was the lowest since Jan. 1, 2006.

In fact, largely due to the 2008 recession, the general fund balance has decreased each year since 2007. This led to the county using a $1 million tax anticipation note for cash-flow needs in 2012.

“So far, we have not had to borrow money this year, and we don’t plan to,” said Pittman. “However, our cash balance is very low, but if we can abstain from borrowing money this year it will allow our financial position to improve in the subsequent years.”

Asked how the county has avoided borrowing this year with revenues still down from previous years, Pittman said, “Sound financial management — bottom line. Even though we lost an additional $265,000 in the value of our tax digest levy, continue to experience depressed revenue streams across the board, opened the jail addition, faced increases in insurance premiums and the same inflationary increases that we all deal with, we are determined to balance our budget by all means that are within our control. But perhaps most important is that we have managed the county’s financial obligations without a tax increase, unlike many counties and municipalities around us.”

“Following the November 2012 general election, I began meeting with department heads, elected officials and county staff in order to define our financial direction for 2013 and beyond. It will only have been through hard work and dedication of all involved that we may be able to claim success,” said Pittman.

“The Tax Commissioner’s Office mailed the 2013 tax bills on Monday of this week, so we are trying to hang on until those revenues begin to be collected,” Pittman said.

Asked what would improve the county’s financial position, Pittman said, “The collection of property taxes will help tremendously, and I plan to be one of the first in line.”