Sales tax revenue decline forces Selma hiring freeze

Published 10:44pm Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Selma Mayor George Evans told the Selma City Council Tuesday he was freezing hiring for the city in an effort to decrease spending after it was reported that sales tax revenues are down more than 20 percent in Selma.

Evans said he wanted to look into freezing hires on new positions with the exception of public safety officers and public works department workers because the sales tax revenues are down $186,943.13 from where they were this time last year. He also told the council he planned to organize an audit for all hotels and restaurants to help discover why the revenues are so low when the Dallas County sales tax revenues seem to be up.

This announcement of what Evans said are numbers that, “don’t look very good,” comes after a February split vote decision of a sales tax increase in the city to go towards the discretionary fund and one-time raises for all city workers across the board. The city has hit the six-month mark into the 2012-2013 fiscal year and revenues are not meeting expectations.

“Unless we see an increase in revenues, these would be the options,” Evans said about freezing hires in areas like the new youth coordinator position and summer youth program. “We are going to cut money and anything that is not an emergency, we will not purchase. If in the coming months we still do not see an increase in sales tax revenues, then the next thing we will do is start layoffs for those people who were last hired.”

The summer youth employment program, which last year gave summer jobs to more than 200 Selma youth is now “pending” Evans said and could be cut all together.

Montgomery-based Revenue Discovery Systems has been asked by the city to conduct, “random auditing in restaurants and hotels to see if some things need to be tweaked,” Evans said.

As for internal auditing for the city of Selma, Evans said he does not believe the city is reporting revenues incorrectly but an annual audit of the city is currently in progress.

Editor's Picks