Troy revenue outlook continues to improve

Published 11:00 pm Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The City of Troy is enjoying what Mayor Jimmy Lunsford hopes is a continuing trend.

Already this year, the city’s sales tax revenue is up $152,710 from 2011.

“That is continuing the trend,” Lunsford said Wednesday. “We are really pleased and hopefully the revenue will continue to grow.”

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Lunsford said the city, like most places in the United States, “bottomed out” in 2008. There was a slight increase in revenue for 2009 and 2010 when the numbers went up a couple hundred thousand. Last year there was another increase of $170,000 for the year.

Now, a little more than three months into the year, Lunsford said he’s optimistic about the city’s financial future.

January’s revenue was $34,245 more than January 2011; February’s revenue was $47,697 more than the same month in 2011; and March numbers are up $70,768 more than last year.

“People, I think, are getting more open to larger purchases and maybe even getting back into some of the discretionary spending our area was lacking,” Lunsford explained.

Trends indicate shoppers are spending more on groceries and automobiles, but Lunsford said spending on items such as recreational vehicles hasn’t bounced back as much.

Lunsford said, due to the sales tax revenue increases, he is feeling more comfortable when it comes to hiring for vacant positions. He said the city never had to implement layoffs, but there were open positions city leaders chose not to fill.

“As I look at our budgets and I deal with my respective department heads, this increase is allowing me to have a little more flexibility filling positions,” Lunsford said.

And while the economy did take a hit in Troy, it wasn’t as devastating as in other parts of Alabama and the nation.

“We’ve been blessed,” Lunsford said. “We’ve been truly blessed.”