Ocean Springs city finances improving thanks to sale of cemetery plots

Feb 19, 2013 | Posted by: roboblogger | Full story: The Mississippi Press

In November, Ocean Springs City Clerk Shelly Ferguson told the board of aldermen the city was facing a potential $200,000 deficit by the end of the current fiscal year.

Comments

Showing posts 1 - 20 of27
< prev page
|
Go to last page| Jump to page:
Gulf

Pascagoula, MS

|
Report Abuse
|
Judge it!
|
#1
Feb 20, 2013
 
No pun intended but there's something morbid about balancing your budget via graveyard plot sales. Still -- as the article notes, this is just a one-year "one-time money" fix. This won't fix anything. Moran said the budget has shrunk by 23%(basically a quarter) in the past 2 years.

And I think Ocean Springs is running into what a lotta cities will run into going forward -- that raising taxes in a bad environment won't help you @ all. That there are "structural limits" to how much you can afford to raise taxes before ppl just start pulling back. Meaning you can raise rates but people will just spend less so your revenue will still peak off because there just isn't enough money around for the tax to support.

The cop station wasn't worth building was it? The amt. of revenue generated by the revenue enhancers er I mean cops won't be enough to offset the enormous costs of paying for the worthless unneeded building.

And I know the city budget doesn't have much to do with it but the taxes are still taking a toll for that new high school that's about the size of a fucking community college. They could have built one half that size that wouldn't have cost as much. That's going to turn out to be a fiasco because the bond won't be paid off. The city & school district will eventually default on its muni bonds used to pay for the cop station er I mean station to ticket ppl going to work & the unneeded high school.

Next year expect more budget cuts, expect less tax revenue. See that? 12% drop in sales tax collections this January? That will get worse as ppl eat out less & as market saturation occurs.(I mean fuck how many bars & restaurants can you cram into a city of under 20k people when you have competition from all the casinos & D'Iberville/Biloxi/Harrison County?

There are more restaurants in downtown Ocean Springs than in the entire city of Gautier & they wonder why sales tax collections are peaking. The sheer number of restaurants are cannibalizing the market share of every other restaurant or bar.

Next year expect less taxes collected, more gimmicks like the graveyard land sale, more budget shrinkage, less money to go all around & trouble paying off those outrageous bonds for the unneeded high school & even more unneeded police station.
OS taxpayer

Ocean Springs, MS

|
Report Abuse
|
Judge it!
|
#2
Feb 20, 2013
 
No one is listening to the warning sirens that have been coming from some of the elected officials. The city is in bad financial shape and it will continue to get worse if strong measures are not in place to control spending. You only take in so much revenue from sales tax, property tax and fines/fees.You better start paying attention to who is trying to guard against this certain failure. I want an elected official that can tell our silver spooned Mayor no to wasteful spending.
silent majority

Birmingham, AL

|
Report Abuse
|
Judge it!
|
#3
Feb 20, 2013
 
Amen OS taxpayer! And now I understand that our "silver spooned mayor" has hand picked another Dem to run in Ward 2. Happens to be the former alderwoman at large. If you do the job you are elected to do and disagree with her tax hikes, she finds you an opponent!

Maybe another reason that the tax revenues are so low is that shes taken $6 million of private property off the tax rolls and now the city/Land Trust owns it!
Gulf

Pascagoula, MS

|
Report Abuse
|
Judge it!
|
#4
Feb 20, 2013
 
silent majority wrote:
Amen OS taxpayer! And now I understand that our "silver spooned mayor" has hand picked another Dem to run in Ward 2. Happens to be the former alderwoman at large. If you do the job you are elected to do and disagree with her tax hikes, she finds you an opponent!
Maybe another reason that the tax revenues are so low is that shes taken $6 million of private property off the tax rolls and now the city/Land Trust owns it!
Generally speaking I tend to lean Democratic on many things & I favor higher taxes on the rich but what she's done isn't liberal at all. A sales tax is what is called a "regressive tax" because it targets the poor. And that's mostly what they've been doing -- hiking taxes on the poor via sales tax hikes, property tax hikes on working stiffs & cop arrests/fines for stupid crap like rushing to work.

Such a system is not liberal or progressive. And I agree completely with you about the 6 million in the land trust thing. Nothing liberal @ all about that or conservative, just pure corruption.

I have no stake in the battle as I'm not a resident but since its the richest city in the county it bothers me that the city has a decent chance of flopping into ch. 9 bankruptcy court.

Ocean Springs is actually even with these issues in a much better cash position than either Moss Point or Gautier. Pascagoula is solvent so long as Chevron stays there. I'm not worried about it.

But if these bonds go due on the safety center & other crap & if they can't be paid -- the city could find itself in a world of hurt....
Sheesh

Ocean Springs, MS

|
Report Abuse
|
Judge it!
|
#5
Feb 20, 2013
 
Dear God the ignorance of you dipshits who think you know anything at all about how city government in O.S. actually works is so friggin painful to read!! And Gulf, quit saying you are not from O.S. The very fact that you constantly say it indicates that (being the coward you are) you feel you must say it in a weak attempt to hide the fact that indeed you do live here and you are afraid of being outed (which would be easy to do I might add). Tell me one of you geniuses, Since the Aldermen control and determine what the tax levy will be, they control and create all city policy for personel, and they and only they can hire, fire, or dicipline city employees.And given the fact that none of the above powers are allowed or afforded to the mayor by state law, how in the world do you think she has any control over taxes or anything other than taking her direct orders from the majority of the board?
If the bonds go due???????? hahahahahhahahahah oh my god you rambling idiot. you know nothing of the financial arrangements that were made to secure the funds for the new facilities which are being paid for out of a 2% levy voted into law by over 60 percent of THE VOTERS OF OCEAN SPRINGS! One more question Gulf. Got a mortgage? Don't answer let's just assume you do. A 15-30 year mortgage that you are a few years into paying back. If you financed from a legitimate source do you think the bank for example can change the deal next month and say "we changed our mind...we are renigging on the contract and want the balance borrowed next month"? Only idiots who bought homes with nothing down and a variable interest rate enabling the banks to hike the interest rate to a level that the borrowers had to default is what led to the housing foreclosre issue that screwed our economy. Do you think that the state of MS allows municipalities to float bonds without a fixed rate? Did you know that ONE MILLION DOLLARS is in the bank in our city and according (again) to STATE LAW must consistently remain in the bank at all times until these bonds are paid off? You see it took a year of collections to aquire the one million dollar balance (that must be maintained)before construction could even begin on these wonderful additions to our community. God what I could teach you friggin pinheads!
Gulf

Pascagoula, MS

|
Report Abuse
|
Judge it!
|
#6
Feb 20, 2013
 
Sheesh wrote:
Dear God the ignorance of you dipshits who think you know anything at all about how city government in O.S. actually works is so friggin painful to read!! And Gulf, quit saying you are not from O.S. The very fact that you constantly say it indicates that (being the coward you are) you feel you must say it in a weak attempt to hide the fact that indeed you do live here and you are afraid of being outed (which would be easy to do I might add). Tell me one of you geniuses, Since the Aldermen control and determine what the tax levy will be, they control and create all city policy for personel, and they and only they can hire, fire, or dicipline city employees.And given the fact that none of the above powers are allowed or afforded to the mayor by state law, how in the world do you think she has any control over taxes or anything other than taking her direct orders from the majority of the board?
If the bonds go due???????? hahahahahhahahahah oh my god you rambling idiot. you know nothing of the financial arrangements that were made to secure the funds for the new facilities which are being paid for out of a 2% levy voted into law by over 60 percent of THE VOTERS OF OCEAN SPRINGS! One more question Gulf. Got a mortgage? Don't answer let's just assume you do. A 15-30 year mortgage that you are a few years into paying back. If you financed from a legitimate source do you think the bank for example can change the deal next month and say "we changed our mind...we are renigging on the contract and want the balance borrowed next month"? Only idiots who bought homes with nothing down and a variable interest rate enabling the banks to hike the interest rate to a level that the borrowers had to default is what led to the housing foreclosre issue that screwed our economy. Do you think that the state of MS allows municipalities to float bonds without a fixed rate? Did you know that ONE MILLION DOLLARS is in the bank in our city and according (again) to STATE LAW must consistently remain in the bank at all times until these bonds are paid off? You see it took a year of collections to aquire the one million dollar balance (that must be maintained)before construction could even begin on these wonderful additions to our community. God what I could teach you friggin pinheads!
I used to live in Ocean Springs, briefly, about a decade ago. I have many friends there, & generally speaking its a better place to visit(more to do) than say Moss Point or Gautier or Goula. And less crime. But no, I don't live in the city, just read the newspaper a lot keep up with the city affairs.
Now, to address your other points/questions: first, I'm fully aware the mayor is not a dictator. And if you've read the other threads I've posted in I am not very supportive of the OS BoA. I know Mr. Cox personally. He used to cut my hair & I have met him on numerous occasions. And I know him to be a polite & nice man who generally speaking wants what's best for those around him. But is there stupidity or corruption for the rest of them? Well, yeah. But they're just good old boys, that's the whole pt. Even if you got rid of them, you'd just replace the fools with another batch. Mr. Dalgo seems to have been the only smart one regarding the Psychomore thing, the other ones seemed intent on pissing away legal funds to push the thing forward.
Gulf

Pascagoula, MS

|
Report Abuse
|
Judge it!
|
#7
Feb 20, 2013
 
Now, about the muni bonds, since you wanted to bring this up. You've obviously never heard of Meredith Whitney & you have not studied about what's happening right now in other states & especially California with their municipal bankruptcies that are destroying entire regions of that state. 2 cities the size of New Orleans & Mobile have filed Ch. 9 bankruptcy protection in the past year.
The city is probably ok going forward for the next 3 to 5 years. But let's not bullsh*t ourselves here. The mayor herself was where I got that nugget about the 23% decline in the size of the city budget in 2 YEARS TIME. That's what shocked me. Astonishing I think is a better word. In TWO YEARS your city's budget, the richest in the county, has dropped by a quarter. That rate of shrinkage is unprecedented & unsustainable. If that rate of "rot" continues the city budget will be roughly half the size it was in fiscal yr 2011. Follow the trend line out about another 4 years & its reduced by a factor of 75% from the 2011 peak.
I don't live in the city but I study financial news & I understand what you meant when you discussed putting the million bucks aside as a kind of "insurance" on the bond. But still, the city has other outstanding bonds it has not repaid. And interest rates are not fixed, as you claim, but are subject to the whims of the market & of the opinion of the rating agencies as to whether your muni bonds are junk or decent or good or awesome, depending on your fiscal health.
And dunno, you tell me -- a city that loses a quarter of its budget in 2 years & then is faced with a bond that probably going forward will have interest rates rise(due to Obama/congress not extending the muni bond tax credit, among other causes)
You also seem not to understand real estate is in a deflationary spiral right now. The big banks are controlling inventory output right now. Google 'shadow foreclosures' & read it, its scary. The govt & the banks are lying to you. The recent uptick in prices is transitory & temporary, go ask Mr. Shiller, of the Case-Schiller index fame...

The pt. I'm making is -- as real estate prices continue to slowly decline from their peaks where they're @ now -- property tax revenue will fall with it. And there are limits to what you can get out of a VAT tax.(sales tax) It is a regressive tax that targets the poor & working classes. It lets those who have money keep more of it while those with less must shell out more for the basic necessities of life.

Going forward yields on munis will rise, muni bond insurance premiums will rise as the risk of holding them will increase as congress/Obama(or whoever comes after him) cont. to toss around the idea of canceling muni's tax exempt status. Nobody would even waste their money holding munis if it wasn't for the tax-free status. If the idiots in Washington can't get their sh*t together, & I dont' think can or will for a variety of reasons then over the coming decade the tax exempt status on munis will be revoked, property values will continue to fall(again google 'shiller property values' and read up) & w/them, property tax revenue. There are "structural limits" to VATs & their abilities to collect revenue. Wages have not significantly risen in over a decade. Without solid, consistent, logarithmic wage/salary growth then wages will not rise.

And they're opening a new Walmart in Gautier -- there goes what? A fifth of the sales revenue @ the OS Walmart? And the corresponding sales tax revenue? Half the real estate by Walmart right now is empty, just like in D'Iberville. And yet they keep building more & more strip malls & converting more & more old houses into restaurants in an already super-saturated market.

Actually, I do know what I'm talking about. And while you take for granted the city's current fiscal standing, you'll find very rapidly in the coming years with rapidly surging pension/retirement costs of your ex employees that your budgets will explode. Good luck with that my friend.
Sheesh

United States

|
Report Abuse
|
Judge it!
|
#8
Feb 21, 2013
 
Your concern gulf over a 23 % reduction in the budget demonstrates why you are a pinhead. The only positive to come out of Katrina was the millions in Grant (free) money received from state and federal sources. Accounting for these funds increased the budget to unprecedented levels. This was project specific money and as each of the projects were completed and the funds expended this resulted in huge budget reductions. 23% represents one of the smallest reductions from one fiscal year to the next. It's been 8 years and all grants related to the storm have dried up. So the 23% reduction that you used as the basis of your thesis to explain how dire and bleak the financial picture is here in OS was nothing but a housekeeping item as the expended funds had to be stricken from the budget. God. What I could teach you if only you could get your ego in check.
Gulf

Pascagoula, MS

|
Report Abuse
|
Judge it!
|
#10
Feb 21, 2013
 
And for lack of a better term if the Dept of Defense cuts off Ingalls' contracts & then shuts down Keesler and/or the Seabee base -- yea -- there goes half the coastal economy. You think the welfare lines in Slob Pt. & P-Goula are bad now....just you wait til the welfare food stamp cards start bouncing in a few years....then the fun starts.
Taxpayer

Ocean Springs, MS

|
Report Abuse
|
Judge it!
|
#11
Feb 21, 2013
 
One thing is for sure the cities along the Ms.Coast are getting a budget reality check right now.Ocean Springs has got to stop wasting money on things like attorney fees especially when the same attorney is telling you it is a waste of time to pursue an appeal like Sycamore.And there are many more examples of useless spending to appease a small percentage of the taxpayers.
Sheesh

Ocean Springs, MS

|
Report Abuse
|
Judge it!
|
#12
Feb 21, 2013
 
Well all I can say gulf is it appears you are beginning to understand that as an insider which I am and you are not you appear to be getting the picture that when it comes to where this city stands you don't know a whole lot about what the financial picture is. First you write a thesis about how a 23 % budget reduction equates to calamity then when I explain how your logic is flawed because you are on the outside looking in you offer no rebuttal. And for that I am grateful. Because as you and I and everyone patient enough to wade through your responses know you are one arrogant prick.
Alison

Ocean Springs, MS

|
Report Abuse
|
Judge it!
|
#13
Feb 21, 2013
 
I spoke to my alderman Jerry Dalgo about a month ago when my neibor let his dog run loose and thanked him for supporting the Psychamore issue. But he said as controversial as it was his decision to vote to allow them here as well as his vote to be the only one of 7 to do that and vote against going to court to appeal the judge was easy because yes people were disappointed in him but the law was clearly on the side of Psychamore and he took an oath many years ago to honor the law. I thought that was pretty cool. Talking to him he didn't seem like a politician at all. He was very fair. Asking how I felt then disagreeing with me but in a nice way on certain things. He even kept my name out of it when he went to talk to the guy who used to let his dog run loose. He asked if I complained and I lied and said no but I could tell Mr. Dalgo did not mention my name. I respect that.
Gulf

Pascagoula, MS

|
Report Abuse
|
Judge it!
|
#14
Feb 21, 2013
 
Sheesh wrote:
Well all I can say gulf is it appears you are beginning to understand that as an insider which I am and you are not you appear to be getting the picture that when it comes to where this city stands you don't know a whole lot about what the financial picture is. First you write a thesis about how a 23 % budget reduction equates to calamity then when I explain how your logic is flawed because you are on the outside looking in you offer no rebuttal. And for that I am grateful. Because as you and I and everyone patient enough to wade through your responses know you are one arrogant prick.
http://www.marketoracle.co.uk/images/2009/Aug...

See that y = minus x decline rate in that graph. Real estate taxes are the primary funding source for the city as the state steals the vast majority of your sales tax revenue, as I explained to you.

We will follow that exact trend line going forward. As it does, property tax revenues will decline, rapidly. Everywhere. Not just here, everywhere in America. The prices are unrealistic. Wage levels cannot support such insane valuations.

As property tax revenues decline -- so too will the city budget.

Adding MORE real estate is actually the worse thing you can do to a local market because it just increases supply & thus decreases price that much quicker.

Prices will decline with or without this new "mixed retail/residential development" -- adding this will only expedite property value deterioration. Springs will be the most solvent of all the cities in the county -- but don't delude yourself, the grim reaper is standing right there waiting for us too all along the coast.

You think state taxes are a burden on the city now. Just you wait til the feds start cutting direct funding to the states. You think those greedy crooked hicks in Jackson steal money from us now. We're their fucking cash cow piggy bank. They'll really put the vice grip on us & hike your taxes going forward. And that means less money for you.
OS Insider

Ocean Springs, MS

|
Report Abuse
|
Judge it!
|
#15
Feb 21, 2013
 

Judged:

1

Sheesh don't know sheeeet. The city has burned through all cash balances and has drained an emergency fund down to $500,000 before the sale of cemetary plots. The employees have not received any raises or cost of living increases in almost 4 years. The deficit spending has continued in every year of Moran's administration. You need to check with the auditing firm that audits the city on an annual basis. You can ask any alderman or the city clerk. Stop sugar coating the dire situation that exists. Your taxes will be going up soon and Moran won't stop coming up with more parks and public buildings to spend your money on. Pay attention to all candidates and find out where they stand on spending, taxes, accountability to the public, and fiscal resposibility. A board that will rubber stamp Moran's vision and schemes to reward her friends and campaign donors will lead to higher taxes and continued decline in employee moral. If you have a close enough relationship with a city employee, ask them their views on Moran and the aldermen. You might learn a lot more than what Moran puts out on facebook and her mouthpiece from the Ms Press.
OS Insider

Ocean Springs, MS

|
Report Abuse
|
Judge it!
|
#16
Feb 21, 2013
 
The cash balances and emergency funds reduction equals about 2.5 million dollars
Taxpayer

Ocean Springs, MS

|
Report Abuse
|
Judge it!
|
#17
Feb 22, 2013
 
Sheesh claims to be an insider who has all the knowledge about city finances.If he attended any of the BOA meetings he could hear for himself the talk of the dire financial condition the City is in.This in most part has nothing to do with the influx of money from Katrina but more to do with current expenses vs. current income.As long as expenses are adjusted down the city will be fine long term.If the city has an emergency like a hurricane this year there will be a very large financial hole to be filled because funds available for this are not there as in other years.All waste of money such as in the Pycamore appeal must stop.This is about as wasteful as anything I have ever seen.The Pycamore denial alone will have cost the City several hundred thousand dollars before it is over.Supplementing real estate develoments for hotels and retail/condos that are not viable is another waste that must be stopped.Not a penny should be appropriated for private development on the front end.The risk of failure is too great.We can look back over the last 5 years at the proposed developments that never happened and see for our selves the odds are against any being successful in the future.
Gulf

Pascagoula, MS

|
Report Abuse
|
Judge it!
|
#18
Feb 22, 2013
 
OS Insider wrote:
Sheesh don't know sheeeet. The city has burned through all cash balances and has drained an emergency fund down to $500,000 before the sale of cemetary plots. The employees have not received any raises or cost of living increases in almost 4 years. The deficit spending has continued in every year of Moran's administration. You need to check with the auditing firm that audits the city on an annual basis. You can ask any alderman or the city clerk. Stop sugar coating the dire situation that exists. Your taxes will be going up soon and Moran won't stop coming up with more parks and public buildings to spend your money on. Pay attention to all candidates and find out where they stand on spending, taxes, accountability to the public, and fiscal resposibility. A board that will rubber stamp Moran's vision and schemes to reward her friends and campaign donors will lead to higher taxes and continued decline in employee moral. If you have a close enough relationship with a city employee, ask them their views on Moran and the aldermen. You might learn a lot more than what Moran puts out on facebook and her mouthpiece from the Ms Press.
Interesting. Well all I'll add is that I hope "sheesh" is right & I'm wrong. I really do, but I highly doubt it.
watchful eye

Washington, DC

|
Report Abuse
|
Judge it!
|
#19
Feb 22, 2013
 
"The only positive to come out of Katrina was the millions in Grant (free) money received from state and federal sources."

I hate when people use the term FREE...It cost the federal and state tax payers to provide those funds to our city....Both of which aren't exactly in the best of financial positions.

Our Nation, Our State and Our City do not have a taxation/funding problem. WE have a Spending Problem. Wake Up
Taxpayer

Ocean Springs, MS

|
Report Abuse
|
Judge it!
|
#20
Feb 22, 2013
 
Amen Watchful Eye.You are 100% correct.Soon at the present rate of growth in just entitlement spending it will be 100% of our national budget.Taxes can't solve the problem ,cuts can.
Sheesh

Williamston, SC

|
Report Abuse
|
Judge it!
|
#21
Feb 22, 2013
 

Judged:

1

Two thirds of all tx dollars received are required to make payroll. A ten percent reduction in employees will return over 600 k to the general fund each year and this is what I will be suggesting to my alderman. The city could easily cut 20 employees with no reduction in services. There are 3 full time people at the civic center that cost the city well over 125k a year with benefits and they do practically nothing.

Tell me when this thread is updated: (Registration is not required)

Add to my Tracker Send me an email

Showing posts 1 - 20 of27
< prev page
|
Go to last page| Jump to page:
Type in your comments below
Name
(appears on your post)
Comments
Characters left: 4000
Type the numbers you see in the image on the right:

Please note by clicking on "Post Comment" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Service and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator. Send us your feedback.

Other Recent Gautier Discussions

Search the Gautier Forum:
Topic Updated Last By Comments
A Special Message to Bill Walker (Sep '13) 57 min Godzilla 302
Martin Lake Resort??? (Mar '09) 7 hr ATL 58
Ex-Jackson County deputy arrested on sex-crime ... 16 hr John Smith 2
Rental Homes 21 hr Renter 1
MS Mississippi judge jails attorney for not reciti... (Oct '10) Jul 5 the dark lord 1,960
Chevron Job Info (Mar '11) Jul 4 gulf 422
Engineers: Rebuild Ocean Springs boardwalk clos... Jul 4 OS Resident 5
•••
•••
•••
Gautier Dating

more search filters

less search filters

•••

Gautier Jobs

•••
Enter and win $5000
•••
•••

Gautier People Search

Addresses and phone numbers for FREE

•••

Gautier News, Events & Info

Click for news, events and info in Gautier
•••

Personal Finance

Mortgages [ See current mortgage rates ]
•••