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Taxes up in city, down in county

Sales tax collections are holding strong throughout Covington County, with the area showing an increase in collections of nearly 2 percent through the 2009 fiscal year.

For April purchases with taxes remitted in May, the county collected $602,513. Although that is a slight decrease from the $604,818 collected in April 2008, the county is still well ahead of collections for the 2009 fiscal year (Oct. 1, 2008, through Sept. 30, 2009).

Reported year-to-date collections from Oct. 1, 2008, to the present are $4,834,985 — a 1.8 percent increase compared to the same time period in the 2008 fiscal year.

Andalusia had $372,233 in sales collections for the month of April, a little more than a $6,000 increase over collections in April 2008. City Clerk John Thompson said Andalusia is also ahead of its overall pace from the 2008 fiscal year.

“April 2009 is up 1.7 percent over April 2008 — which puts Andalusia up 2 percent for the fiscal year-to-date, or since Oct. 1, over the same period last year,” he said. “And that’s good news.”

Despite a nearly $4,000 decrease in this April collections versus last April’s, city officials said Florala’s “shop at home” campaign, sponsored by the Tri-Cities Chamber of Commerce, is credited for keeping the collections comparable.

Florala residents are urged to submit receipts from local businesses throughout each month into a drawing for $100, and it has been a great tool in encouraging local shopping, chamber officials said.

A total of $27,232 was collected in April, Florala City Clerk Kathy Rathel said. In April 2008, $30,894 was collected.

Opp also reported a slight decrease in sales tax collections for April. City Clerk Connie Smith said local businesses remitted $158,887 for April — a $12,000 decrease compared to the same month in 2008.