KIMBALL, Tenn. -- While most small towns across the state struggle financially, Kimball continues to prosper.
Paul Johnson, an auditor with Johnson, Murphey & Wright, said late last week that the city has had "a really strong increase in revenues" over the past fiscal year, while expenses have decreased.
Kimball raked in about $2.2 million in revenue last year compared with about $2 million the year before.
"It is so nice to see a town with this kind of equity in it," Johnson said Thursday. "So many governments have overspent and don't have any equity. I can remember when [Kimball] was struggling. Now, we've gotten past that, so that's really nice to see."
According to the audit, Kimball has $6.6 million in assets and $325,000 in liabilities.
"If there's any business out there that has ratios like that, they would be jumping up and down," Johnson said.
Even the town's troublesome sewer system has $1.4 million in equity, he said, and the city's sewer fund has "always been our nemesis."
The sewer fund ended the year with a loss of $1,572, which could warrant an inquiry from state officials because the fund is never supposed to fall into the red, officials said.
Johnson said this year's loss is much better than the $45,000 loss Kimball had in the previous fiscal year.
"I think the state ought to be pleased with the progress we've made to get that close," he said.
The good financial news comes in a year when city administrators invested almost $700,000 in eight new patrol cars and camera systems, ballfield lights and fencing at Kimball Park, a rescue truck and new sewer lines.
Alderman Jerry Don Case said revenues have gone up while Kimball's property tax rate has remained at 10 cents per $100.
"People are paying 10 times as much property tax as [Kimball residents] are paying, and sometimes those people think they've got a great deal," Case said. "[The tax rate] is really kind of unbelievable."
Ryan Lewis is based in Marion County. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.