Sales tax numbers similar to 2012

Published 12:00am Wednesday, January 1, 2014

After a relatively flat sales period in October, this year’s holiday shopping blitz will go a long way in bringing up the year-to-date sales tax collection figures.

Figures, which represent sales taxes collected in October and remitted in November from the county and Andalusia, are “comparable” to the same period in 2012.

Assistant County Administrator Pam Steele said $650,632 was remitted for sales in October – just $4,000 less than the same period last year; however, year-to-date figures, which place collections at just over $1.26 million, are down 10.37 percent from the same time last year.
Andalusia reportedly collected $550,514 for the month, City Clerk John Thompson said.

“Last year for that month, we collected $330,220,” he said. “As many may recall, we are seeing large increases in month-to-month comparisons because of the increase that began in August.”

Thompson was speaking of the 1.5 percent sales tax increase passed in May to raise an additional $3 million per year. One percent of the additional sales tax, or approximately $2 million, will first be used by the city as matching funds for grants – specifically for a more than $10 million ATRIP grant to rehabilitate South Three Notch Street.

The remaining one-half percent, or about $1 million per year, will go to the Andalusia City School System.

Based on the collection figures, Andalusia saw an 11 percent growth with in the month from the same period last year.

“Sales tax collections are our main indicator of the health of our economy, and we see continued strength and are hoping for a great holiday shopping season,” he said. “Hopefully, this trend will continue through the holidays and set the tone for 2014. If energy prices continue to stabilize and unemployment levels drop, perhaps the recovery will become stronger and sustainable.”

Figures for Black Friday, which represent December collections, will be known during the first week in January.

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