City’s sales tax receipts up 11%

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 16, 2009

If the first two months of the 2009-10 fiscal year are any indication, it’s going to be a banner year for Andalusia.

Mayor Earl Johnson told city council members Tuesday night that sales taxes were up 8.7 percent in October over the same period last year and 14 percent up in November over the same period last year.

Sales taxes reported for October were actually collected by merchants in September, and November taxes remitted were collected in October.

“This is pretty astounding,” Johnson said. “It may not hold for the year, but it’s starting out the year right.”

Johnson circulated a Jacksonville State University report that measures outshopping patterns, or the ratio of tax dollars spent inside and outside the county. A 1.0 index shows that as many tax dollars are spent inside as outside, Johnson said, while less than 1.0 indicates more tax dollars are being spent outside the county.

In 2000, he said, Covington County’s index was 0.87, but by 2004, had improved to 1.1.

“Based on the sales tax numbers we’re seeing, that number is even higher now,” he said. “That’s exactly what we’ve been trying to do — establish Covington County as a place where people come to shop. We are headed in the right direction.”

In other business, the council:

Approved a retail restaurant liquor license for Lees Samuri Japanese Steakhouse.

Noted the death of former Andalusia police officer J.D. Shakespeare and the contributions he made to the city.