In Mississippi, 18.5% of the tax revenue collected each month is returned to the municipality from which it was collected. Each month our little weekly paper publishes the monthly and year-to-date (YTD) amounts returned for the current and previous years.
I do not know why I hadn’t thought about gathering up these data years ago, but better late than never.
As I was looking at the trends a couple of numbers jumped out at me. “How can this be?” I asked. Or, if you prefer, “That don’t make no sense.” Turns out that last year’s YTD for the second largest town in the county was reported incorrectly beginning with data on March (there’s a three month delay between collection and return/report). The mistake was carried over into April’s report. Both numbers are off by exactly +10,000. (Red in the figure above is correct.)
Being the responsible citizen that I am, I felt it my duty to alert the editor of the newspaper.
Received a reply from the editor within 30 minutes. I was wrong, March and April’s numbers were correct. But I’d assumed that February was correct– see the email. It was not. He had made a $10,000 error on February’s YTD. He thanked me, said he was glad to know at least one person read that column.
I would normally do a correction, but I doubt anyone else noticed this. Not even the city clerk called me after February’s ran. But if you think I should run one, I will.
That cracked me up. I’m such an influencer! Just kidding. But it is sort of strange to think that the newspaper editor trusts my judgement.