Local cities see different trend

Published 9:33 pm Wednesday, March 4, 2009

While decreases in sales taxes have taken a big hit on the Pike County Commission budget, local municipalities have seen a different trend.

For one local city, in fact, sales tax figures have actually increased despite economic hardships.

Brundidge has seen a boost of around $26,000 in sales tax collections so far in this budget year.

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The boost has taken City Manager Britt Thomas by surprise, though he said Brundidge has always been good at weathering financial storms.

“During an economy that’s soaring, we’ve never soared, and during an economy doing what we’re experiencing right now, we’ve never bottomed out,” Thomas said.

Though Thomas said he isn’t sure how to attribute the sales tax jump, it’s likely from boosts in some of Brundidge’s industries.

The only month the city of Brundidge saw a decrease in sales tax revenues since the budget year began in October was December, when taxes were down around $1,000.

So far, collections have been around $155,000, up from $128,000 during the same period last year. But Thomas said he isn’t getting his hopes too high yet.

“We’ve got a ways to go,” Thomas said. “This just happens to be the first four months. I don’t know what the next months will bring.”

The story isn’t the same for the city of Troy.

With just a 3-percent drop for the year so far, Troy Mayor Jimmy Lunsford said the city’s budget isn’t suffering yet.

“It’s not good to have any decreases, but there’s a minimal effect. At this time, it’s a positive compared to what’s going on in the economy,” Lunsford said.

Since October, Troy City Clerk Alton Starling said Troy has seen a $72,000 loss of sales tax revenue, compared to the same period last fiscal year.

The biggest hit came in December, Starling said, when the losses were around $47,000.

“Something happened that I can’t put my finger on for this month,” Lunsford said.

Lunsford, like Thomas, said he will keep a close eye on the sales tax revenues as they continue to come in.

“Right now, it’s not impacted us to a point to have to make any budget changes,” Lunsford said.