Meridian Faces Declining Revenues

By: Stephen Bowers Email
By: Stephen Bowers Email

Meridian Mayor Cheri Barry announced Thursday that finances are down significantly from last year. In September, sales tax collections dropped almost $100,000 from September 2008.

For the fiscal year, the city is down almost $200,000. Barry announced that dip in sales tax at the city council work session.

The city is planning to tighten belts and encouraging people to shop locally.
While some businesses in Meridian have closed recently, more have been opening up across the city.

"Hopefully we'll be on the rebound in 12 months, but right now as a city we are watching every dollar that comes in and every dollar that goes out," Barry said.

That sales tax revenue comes from spending, but for it to help, you have to do that spending in the city of Meridian.

"The economy is down. There's no money even though we see new businesses opening," said Barry. "People are being very cautious as to how they're spending their earnings."

The six percent dip runs a dollar amount of about $65,000. Mayor Barry says that while things seem to have leveled off for now, some improvements are possible as the holiday shopping season gets underway.

"I think we'll have a good holiday season. I hope that we can compare it to last year, and I hope our sales will be up," she said.

In the stores, we are told business seems to be unsteady and comes in waves of noticeable ups and downs.

Barry says the best thing we can all do to help the local economy is spend.

"People need to start shopping in Meridian," Barry said, "They need to stay off the Internet and put their dollars back into the city of Meridian. Stay in Meridian. Don't go to Jackson or Tuscaloosa or Birmingham. We need the tax dollars. We need people here shopping."

The city of Meridian is not unusual in its declining revenues for September:

DeKalb $2,424

Newton $12,340

Philadelphia $22,546

Quitman $3,075

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  • by Ed on Nov 3, 2009 at 04:57 AM
    ok 3ft is done deal.. it is in contract thats it.. now you want to get this area rolling.. then get traffic flowing.. then give reasons for companies to come.. and stay.. remember take two yrs on average in small town to get though the mess left behind by the other admin. or to cause the mess.. have to give Sherry credit what she had when she came in and turned around so far.. ____ good job.. now if can get the rest of the city and county to work as one with her
  • by Anonymous #2 Location: Meridian on Nov 1, 2009 at 06:03 AM
    Some "Anonymous" in Meridian sure has a preoccupation with the Threefoot. It's as if they were to tear it down, the tax revenues mentioned in this story would magically re-appear, and all of the lost local businesses mentioned in other stories would re-open.
  • by Anonymous on Oct 31, 2009 at 08:53 PM
    Wow! We must really be in a recession when Meridian, which is in a perpetual recession, is noticing it. Can anyone reclaim the Threefoot money?
  • by Chuckles Location: Lauderdale County on Oct 30, 2009 at 02:07 PM
    Thank goodness the city didn't tie up a lot of its funds in special projects, oh wait.
  • by Anonymous on Oct 30, 2009 at 10:38 AM
    The issue raised by resident are valid. However, the state is behind the work at the intersection he or she mentioned. The state dept. of transportation would also have to approve a sign for the exit. I've often wondered about that myself. I believe I remember hearing the city tried to get that.
  • by resident Location: Meridian on Oct 30, 2009 at 10:12 AM
    Perhaps the city could save money by not paving roads that are perfectly fine to begin with... referring to the stretch of road on Hwy 19 S that includes the 11/80 intersection. Was there really anything wrong with it to begin with? Not to mention adding a lane that goes to nowhere and is nothing more than a wreck waiting to happen. Maybe they're planning on extending it?? I don't see how with the bridge directly past it. I can't figure it out. And what makes it worse is the roads that truly need work just sit there getting worse... Also, I've always wondered why there is no shopping center/mall sign on exit 154A? For people passing through, they don't realize there is a mall/restaurants there until they've passed it, then the next exit doesn't even allow you to go in that direction...
  • by tax payer Location: meridian on Oct 30, 2009 at 06:37 AM
    The tax revenue is lower because as a nation we are in terrible financial times. The mayor wants us to spend money, well everyone does not have the money the mayors family may have. I, as most work for a living. I have to account for my money as it goes out. People go to other cities to make purchases because they get better prices on items. Why would you spend more money than you have to? If Meridian is serious about having people support the local economy then the businesses need to be more competetive with surrounding cities. I recently made a purchase that cost $600.00. I wanted to purchase the same item here and went to a couple of places to research prices. I saved almost $300.00 not including the sales tax expense. The same is true with vehicles. I have lived in meridian for 50 years. During this time I have purchased several new vehicles. Only two were bought in meridian. The reason a saving of 2 to 5 thousand dollars each. Help us help the businesses with better prices.
  • by Loretta Bennett Location: Meridian on Oct 29, 2009 at 08:13 PM
    Wow! did meridian mayor say" stay offline and keep your money in meridian?" I wish she thought that same way when she went outside of Meridian to get Lee Shelborne as the new chief of Police when we already had a chief. Cheri Barry is a joke!
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