published Friday, February 14th, 2014

Jasper gets glowing city audit

JASPER, Tenn. — Every local government likes to hear good financial news, and that's what the Jasper Board of Mayor and Aldermen got this week.

Paul Johnson, with the Johnson, Murphey & Wright accounting firm in Chattanooga, gushed over the city's "excellent" 2013 audit report that he will submit to the state.

"Everywhere through this report, [Jasper] should be proud of what's going on," he said Monday.

In 2013, the city saw a "substantial increase" in revenues, Johnson said.

Jasper took in $3.6 million in 2012, but last year, income was $4.3 million.

"The expenses were up a little bit, but not substantially as compared to how much the income jumped up," Johnson said. "That shows overall, if you look at it as one big pot, [the city] made $854,000 as compared to $234,000 the year before."

Mayor Paul Evans said city leaders do not waste money.

"We're going to provide the services, but we're going to watch our pennies, too," he said.

Alderman Paul "Mac" Bumpus said he is in the banking business and is happy to see the numbers in the audit.

"We're in great shape," he said.

One of the main reasons Jasper's financial status is so good is because the town has done a great job collecting property taxes, Johnson said.

"There's been some effort made somewhere along the way to collect those property taxes. That reflects well on the city," he said.

Alderman Steve Looney said Evans has done well during his first year as Jasper's mayor.

"[His work] has added to our revenues," he said. "I think he has done a good job for the time he's been in there so far."

"I go to bed thinking about the job, and I get up thinking about it," Evans said.

Ryan Lewis is based in Marion County. Contact him at ryanlewis34@gmail.com.

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