School, World Series boost tax revenue

Published 12:50 am Saturday, October 8, 2011

Backpacks and ballgames helped continue the county’s trend of increasing sales tax collections in August.

For local merchants, business was good on two fronts, with shoppers taking advantage of the annual tax-free shopping holiday, and the influx of shoppers in town for the 12U Babe Ruth Softball World Series. In turn, the county and local municipalities reaped the benefits in the form of sales tax revenue.

In Andalusia, City Clerk John Thompson said collections, which were remitted throughout September, totaled $406,098 – a more than 12 percent increase over the same period last year. That figure allowed Andalusia to end its fiscal year “a solid 5 percent” over last year’s year-to-date total, Thompson said.

“We continue to reap the benefit of forward-leaning leadership,” he said. “Through the leadership of Mayor Johnson and the city council, we’ve seen an unprecedented level of investment in Andalusia, both in public infrastructure and in private business

“Sales tax collections represent the largest source of revenue available to the city,” he said. “It is our job to concentrate on expanding that source through creating an environment that not only stimulates growth of existing businesses, but also attracts new business. We have positioned ourselves to take full advantage of the current economic situation in that we have secured capital at historic lows in municipal bond markets and initiated projects during a time when construction costs were depressed.

“When the economy turns around, we should be well-positioned for sustained, long-term growth,” he said.

The county also reported an increase in sales tax collections of more than $57,800 – an 8.9 percent jump from the same period last year.

Assistant County Administrator Pam Steele said the county collected $647,512, a figure that allowed the county to finish the fiscal year with nearly $7.7 million in collection.

“For us, that’s a 5.67 percent increase, which is great news all the way around,” she said.

In Opp, City Clerk Connie Smith said the city finished the month with a 6.2 percent increase in collections with a reported $170,175 remitted by Opp merchants – a more than $10,000 increase from July sales.

Smith said year-to-date totals came in at slightly more than $1.9 million – a 0.72 percent decrease from the 2010 fiscal year.