Editorial: Tax revenue news more like glass half full than half empty

Which do you want first, the good or bad news?

The bad news is Alpena County officials are looking at a loss of $59,460 in tax revenue.

The good news is the decline is the lowest the county has experienced since 2010 and much of it isn’t really related to property assessments going down in the county, but rather two new changes in state law dealing with small business owners and veterans.

Thus, while no one can get too excited about less tax revenue, county officials can see that proverbial “light at the end of the tunnel” regarding tax collections in the future.

Certainly it has taken time, lots of patience and prudent financial planning for county officials to deal with the collections they have gathered in recent years. With the news from Equalization Director John Hippensteel this week, the financial outlook looks to be more of the same for commissioners.

Still, the body need not focus solely on today, but instead can take some comfort from trends that seem to be developing that indicate an improving housing market and a gradual strengthening of the local economy.

Those factors, combined with a wee bit of optimism, should change the perspective of readers looking at numbers only.

Those numbers tell one story, but there is another story that isn’t quite as negative waiting patiently in the wings.