By Pat Stacey
The cities of Tyler and Longview are both previewing their budgets for fiscal year 20-13 and there are some encouraging signs. Both are planning on a modest revenue increase from either property taxes or sales taxes and those increases will enable both cities with the plan to give city employees a pay raise. This is a great sign of good fiscal management as Tyler city employees have gone without pay raises for several years due to a reduction in tax revenues. Longview city employees have enjoyed pay raises. But to have both major cities in east Texas budgeting for pay raises based on economic growth speaks to the strength of our area of the state. City budgets are typically pretty thin in balancing revenue versus expenses. And you can't forget the financial challenge faced by the State of Texas. Tyler also has some momentum with the announcements that Scott's Miracle Grow and Centene will be setting up shop in the city. So there is cause for optimism moving forward and when the election dust settles in November, we will know what the national economic stage will look like. This is the time for small business to take measured risks and capitalize on the momentum across our area. It will result in a strengthening in all our cities and make for a Better East Texas.