Asked whether the revenues from the liens on the 14 properties would go toward surplus, Mayor Adrian O. Mapp said, "It will have a positive impact on year end results from operations and will help to boost our surplus. The more we collect from the sale of municipal liens the better. It also helps with the tax collection rate."
The "Jones Act" tax lien sale allows a municipality to sell off problematic liens held by the city. There will also be a regular tax lien sale (the kind with delinquent property owners' names in it) in October, which will help stabilize the city's finances. Having an astute finance director and, as Mapp says, one of the best chief financial officers in the state will result in the use of any and all possible means to improve the city's fiscal standing. It certainly is a big step up from having a previous finance director who could not even state the tax rate when asked at a public meeting.
The council was determined to pass the budget before June, which makes sense because by now the city has already been paying employees and spending money since January out of temporary appropriations. But adjustments will take place as revenues continue to come in through the remaining months of 2014. Maybe for next year there could be a budget tutorial so that council members feel more comfortable with the overall process, although that would still not obviate political moves to damage the administration.