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Godwin breaks down city's financial status

By Michael Butler

Tallassee city councilman Bill Godwin is in his third term now. He is mayor pro tem and continues as the city's finance committee chairman.

"Our budget is about $8.7 million," said Godwin. "It's basically a level-funding budget. Even though our sales tax has gone up, some of our other major resources like water and gas have gone down."

The city sales tax brings in about $1 million annually.

"We have about 85 funding sources in our budget and about 225 expenditure line items. The major four funding sources are gas, water, sewer and sales tax."

Godwin talked about budgeting at the close of each fiscal year.

"There's nothing magical that's going to happen as far as new dollars. Some people don't expect snow, but when you walk out it snowed last night - that dollars are going to fall like manna from heaven. It just doesn't happen that way."

The city has an A-plus bond rating and has reduced its debt ratio by $1.3 million.

"We're saving about $45,000 per year in our bond payments based on that rating and we were able to receive a refund of about $200,000 in cash that we can use for general operation."

Godwin talked about "new money" and where it might come from.

"If we're going to have one or more big ticket items, we're going to have to generate more than we already have. Grants are not a way to do big ticket items. Nobody wants to talk about taxes. I'm not advocating any, but right now a one cent increase would generate in Tallassee over $1 million per year. Occupational tax, nobody wants to talk about that but it's there. Ad valorem tax, we don't have one.

"We're doing everything we can to really manage the dollars that we have. We feel really good about where we are."

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