Sales taxes on rebound?

Published 12:05 am Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Sales tax collections for the new fiscal year are off to a good start in most parts of the county, based on taxes collected on items sold in October and remitted in November.

In Andalusia, those collections were $373,557 – an increase of nearly 0.5 percent more than the same period a year ago.

“For the first two months of the fiscal year, we are about 2.4 percent over the same period in 2010,” said City Clerk John Thompson. “Mayor Johnson and the city council have instituted a tight fiscal policy so that we’re prepared for little or no growth during the rest of the year.

“We’ve been very fortunate to come through the ‘Great Recession’ relatively unscathed as a city in that we’ve not had to layoff employees nor skip annual raises and such,” Thompson said. “Through attrition, we plan to trim staff where we can in the future and have several examples of utilizing existing staff as an alternative to replacement. Having forward thinking leadership that consistently invests in the future helps to ensure that our retail businesses have the best environment conducive to growth. That commitment to investment in infrastructure has also translated into growth in our medical services industry, which will have a positive impact on city revenue.

“As always, since the holidays are upon us, everyone is encouraged to shop for Christmas in Andalusia,” he said.

In Opp, October collections were up 5.86 percent from the same period last year – which is “fantastic news,” said City Clerk Connie Smith.

“This year, we collected $162,645,” she said. “Last year this time, it was just over $153,000. That’s a nearly 6 percent jump for us. It was a good month, and we hope every month will be even better.”

Opp ended the 2010-2011 fiscal year with $1.917 million in collections, down from the previous year’s $1.926 million total.

However, collections for the county were down slightly by nearly $40,000 from last year’s total. Assistant County Administrator Pam Steele said $599,574 was collected from sales in October – a nearly 6 percent decrease from last year’s monthly total of $636,747.