Where do the pennies go? That question and a whole lot more were asked and answered last night at a special tax presentation meeting of the Watertown City Council. Presenters included Mayor Sarah Caron, Alderman Don Roby and City Finance Officer Kristen Bobzien. At the outset Mayor Caron assured the more 150 attendees that the city of Watertown is economically sound.
Last night’s meeting was devoted to educating the public about city spending and tax dollar collecting. Alderman Don Roby told the group that Watertown is a 40 million dollar a year enterprise and that most of the dollars are generated through sales tax dollars. The city collects three cents in all, while the state collects four and half. And, while there are some concerns about the future of those sales tax revenues, the collections remain positive. The city remains heavily dependent on those dollars to fund city government. Roby says there's no reason to worry just now, because those revenues are growing, just not as much as they would like.
Roby says property taxes do provide some revenue for the city, however what Watertown assesses is considerably lower than most cities in South Dakota comparable in size.
He credits the low property taxes to solid sales tax revenue collection. Roby says one area they continue to watch is the impact that compound interest has on the budget. talked about compound interest and the impact it has.
Overall Mayor Caron says the city is fortunate to be in a good situation right now.
The mayor says the potential for growth is good and that the city will be seeing it in the years to come. She's hoping to have more of these kinds of meetings in the future.