The City of Williamsport got a doubleshot of good budget news last week that carries twin messages.
The City Council Finance Committee disclosed that revenues for business privilege and wage taxes to the city increased by $487,000 between 2010 and 2011.
And the committee found that the city's expenses for the first quarter are at 19 percent of the projected spending for the year, which means the city is running under budget.
The good revenue and expense news is creating breathing room in the city's budget ledger that is sorely needed.
The revenue side increase reflected economic development, most of it a result of increased activity related to Marcellus Shale gas industries.
That's worth noting for the critics of the industry's growth in our area who question the benefit of the gas industry, particularly in municipalities where there is no drilling going on. Clearly, Williamsport is benefitting in terms of employment and lodging development, among other things that are reflected in city's revenue increases.
As for the spending being under budget, the mild, almost storm-free winter may have helped the city save in a variety of areas across multiple departments. But spending less than budgeted takes discipline and vigilance from everyone in a leadership role in city government.
Taxpayers need this good budget news. They are hit on a daily basis with all sorts of increases in their spending and already are paying a ton in taxes to all levels of government.
The city's good revenue and expense news is appreciated and needs to continue.