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City's tax collections up; looking to lease golf course

GREENVILLE — Though there were some hiccups in revenue collections for some city departments during the 2011-12 fiscal year, Greenville ended up with about $122,000 more in collections than the previous year.

Steve Osso, the city’s external financial consultant, tells The Delta Democrat Times Greenville brought in almost $15.8 million over the period compared to the $15.6 million in the 2010-11 fiscal year.

“We fared well,” Osso said. “Overall, we hoped for a small upturn in collections, and gaming ended up better than anticipated.”

While collections for most departments were about flat, Osso said gaming, sales taxes and the water and sewer department showed surprising figures.

In June, the city was about $90,000 short of the same period of 2011 in gaming revenue.

By August, officials saw an uptick they predicted would last through the end of the fiscal year.

“We ended up with more than $100,000 on gaming,” Osso said.

Though the city was short of collections from the previous year, he said the city was “pleasantly surprised.”

For the 2011-12 fiscal year, the city brought in about $1.26 million in gaming revenue compared to the $1.29 million from the 2010-11 fiscal year, reports show.

Chris Strobbe, general manager of Trop Casino, previously said the revenue dropped during the transition period of closing the Jubilee Casino and the opening of the Trop.

Aside from upgrading the facility, Strobbe said Trop increased advertising in the Delta region to attract customers.

Sales taxes also underwent a turnaround, Osso said.

Osso said the city received a little more than $6.2 million in sales taxes, compared to $6.1 million in the 2010-11 fiscal year.

In a separate item, the city is seeking to find someone to lease its public golf course.

The Delta Democrat Times reports the city is looking at leasing the golf course by the end of the year. The city council discussed starting the bidding process at its last council meeting Oct. 16. Council members said they would only accept bids from those who wanted to continue using it as a golf course.

Steve Osso, the city’s financial consultant, says the city is interested in saving money and sees an opportunity in leasing the golf course as interest in the course grows.

Osso says if the city is unable to lease the course by the start of 2013 the city council will decide what to do.

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