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Sales tax returns holding steady

Sales tax collections throughout the county held steady in July, showing no major fluctuations as consumers spent their money in the local retail market.

In June, year-to-date collections for businesses in Andalusia were up 1.34 percent; however, that positive growth rate narrowed to less than 1 percent for July 2009 collections.

“In Andalusia, $357,863 was collected for sales made in July and remitted to us in August,” City Clerk John Thompson said Thursday. “That brings our year-to-date total up 0.3 percent over 2008.”

The trend was the same for county sales tax collections, which came in at $606,035 for July 2009 — bring year-to-date collections up 0.91 percent from this time in 2008.

Both Florala and Opp reported a less than 1 percent decrease in collections.

Florala City Clerk Kathy Rathel said $34,134 in sales tax was collected during July, just $998 less than 2008’s $35,132 for July. Rathel said year-to-date collections are up $11,146 — bringing the total collections to date for 2009 to $367,712.

Opp reported a slight decrease for overall year-to-date collections, logging $164,688 for July 2009.

At present, Opp has collected nearly $1.69 million in sales tax revenue, and local officials say it’s too early to determine how the county fared for August collections.

“The businesses pay the collection agency by the 20th of each month for the previous month,” Thompson said. “It takes several days for the collection agency to pay us and then a few more days until we get reports. The filing deadline is still two days away, so we will just have to wait and see.”

Those figures will allow city officials to see how much of an impact this year’s sales tax holiday had on local revenues.