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Jackson mayor touts ‘momentum’ in state-of-the-city speech

Jackson Mayor Tony Yarber

Jackson Mayor Tony Yarber

Jackson Mayor Tony Yarber says the city’s crime rate is falling because of community policing.

In a state-of-the-city address Tuesday night, Yarber also said Jackson tax revenue is rising because companies see the city as a good investment.

Yarber said crime was down 14 percent in 2015 and could drop 10 percent this year.

Jackson news outlets said the mayor touted a growing local economy and “momentum” in making improvements across the city, even while facing obstacles including a budget deficit.

Yarber said repairs are being made to more city streets because leaders are using the 2 percent sales tax to implement his infrastructure master plan.

The mayor also said tax collections are expected to climb 10 percent in 2016, which will bring in an additional $2 million.

Yarber also said his administration has filled 62,000 potholes.

“I know, if it’s 3 million, 62,000 doesn’t really seem like a lot. But we’ve got momentum,” Yarber said to a roughly 200-member audience.

Yarber stressed the importance of crafting next year’s budget, which will take place over the next several weeks. This year, the city discovered a deficit in its reserves and has been hard hit with unexpected costs

Earlier on Tuesday, Councilman Melvin Priester, the council’s budget committee chairman, said the council is still waiting for the mayor to present his proposed budget.

After learning that expenditures in the next fiscal year budget should exceed revenues by $5.6 million, the administration expects to make cuts to departments and could even consider raising taxes and water sewer rates.

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