Holiday sales appear robust

Published 12:00 am Saturday, January 18, 2014

Predictions of big gains in sales taxes for the period including the Black Friday shopping rush held true locally, as figures showed a huge jump in revenue for the City of Andalusia, while Covington County numbers are also on the upswing.

Andalusia City Clerk John Thompson said the city collected $651,921 in November, up from $350,762 for the same period last year – a whopping 85.5 percent increase.

Thompson said, while much of the increase can be attributed to the 1.5 percent sales tax increase passed in May, figures also indicate the local economy is strengthening.

“The sales tax increase for the South Three Notch project and Andalusia City Schools building projects would account for the net increase, but we have some natural growth in the local economy,” Thompson said. “(The economy) is strong, and this points to that.”

Thompson said sales taxes for November would have totaled approximately $375,315 without the increase, which is a 7 percent increase over the same period in 2012.

Andalusia collected $1.717 million in sales tax through the month of November in 2013, up from $993,661 for the same period in 2012.

Assistant County Administrator Pam Steele said numbers were also up for November countywide over last year, although totals fell slightly for the same 11-month period in 2012.

Countywide sales taxes for November rose to $754,275, up from $666,662 in November 2012, but year-to-date totals fell from $2.076 million in 2012, to $2.017 million last year, a decline of 2.82 percent.

In Florala, sales taxes for November totaled $32,253, a $553 increase over budget, but year-to-date numbers fell to $92,904 which was $1,571 below budget.

Numbers for the City of Opp are not yet available, but are expected to be completed next week.