Tax increase having little effect on county revenue

Published 12:00 am Thursday, December 27, 2001

Staff Writer

Despite the increase in Pike County’s sales tax that went into effect in October, officials have recorded less collected.

On Oct. 1, the 1-cent sales tax increase went into effect as a means to fund education.

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Earlier this year, the Pike County Commission raised the sales tax from 7 to 8 cents, exempting vehicles, farm equipment, manufacturing equipment and vending equipment from the resolution.

But, AlaTax is indicating non-remittance and a downfall in the economy is "partly to blame" for fewer dollars being collected, said Pike County Administrator Mark Tyner.

November records show $184,999 was collected from the 8-cent sales tax. In October, collections were higher, $189,767.

Although the county’s collections were lower, the city’s were quite a bit more.

In October 2000, the city collected $288,363 in sales taxes. A year later that amount jumped to $313,323, mostly because of the addition of the use tax collections, according to information provided by Troy City Clerk Alton Starling.

In February of this year, the Troy City Council joined a majority of municipalities in the state by establishing a sales and use tax. Prior to that decision, the city only had a sales tax, meaning it did not reap the benefits of purchases made outside of the city limits. By establishing a sales and use tax the city has been able to recoup some of its losses.

Months after the decision was made, Troy collected $313,323 in October 2001, so the change apparently paid dividends.

County officials are hoping their numbers change because if all goes as planned in August 2002, they will be getting a portion of the tax money.

The resolution passed by commissioners puts the matter on the ballot for Pike County voters to choose whether or not they believe some of the tax money collected should go into the county’s coffers. Under the plan, 75 percent of the sales tax receipts being split between the county and city schools and the remaining 25 percent going into the commission’s funds.