Sales tax future looking brighter?

Published 10:02 pm Monday, February 1, 2010

Local governments have experienced their shares of financial hardships last year, and while those haven’t quite ended yet, things are looking up.

After the first three months of the fiscal year, which starts in October, both the city of Troy and Pike County have not lost as much as they had in sales tax revenues during the same time last year.

“Life could be better, but it certainly could be a lot worse too,” said County Administrator Harry Sanders.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

This after the county collected around $505,000 in sales taxes in the last month, a difference of around $16,000 for the same time last year.

While that is still a decrease from last year, Sanders said the numbers of the first three fiscal months collectively aren’t as big of a loss as they had been the year before.

For October, November and December of 2008, the county collected around $1.69 million, a drop from the prior year of 4.32 percent. That’s compared to a $1.59 million total collection this year, a drop of 1.64 percent.

“While it’s still negative, it’s not as negative as it was last year,” Sanders said.

The numbers collected by Pike County also include a portion of the funds that go to the Pike County and Troy City School Systems. The remainder of the funds go to the county commission to fund services for the residents of the county, excluding road department services.

The story was similar for the city of Troy.

“We’re still down a little but not a lot,” said Troy City Clerk Alton Starling.

In fact, for the month of December, which is collected in January, Starling said sales taxes were actually up from the same month last year, with around $455,000 collected in Dec. 2009 and $450,000 in the same month a year earlier.

Collectively, year to date the city has earned around $1.39 million, down from the $1.42 million a year earlier.

That’s a difference of $24,000.

“We’re down slightly from where we were last year, but to put in perspective, everyone else is getting a 5 to 8 percent discrepancy,” Starling said. “Ours is only a 1.7 percent difference than last year. We’re starting out better than some.”

The city of Brundidge could not be reached for sales tax numbers Monday.