Brundidge council hears financial audit report

Published 11:00 pm Tuesday, December 3, 2013

The Brundidge City Council heard the good news and the not-so-good news from City Manager Britt Thomas at its Tuesday meeting.

Thomas reviewed the city’s annual audit as it reflected the city’s 2-cent gas tax and the city’s share of the state gas tax.

“The gas tax is the bad news,” Thomas said. “Since 2010, the city’s 2-cent gas tax has been on a sliding downward scale. In 2010, the revenue from the 2-cent gas tax was $103,688. In 2013, it was $78,894. We are going the wrong way.”

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Thomas attributed the decrease to possibly three factors.

“One factor is that people are buying gas out of town,” he said. “Another reason could be that people are cutting back on their driving and people are also driving smaller vehicles that use less gas. But, whatever the reason, our 2-cent gas revenue is down significantly from 2010 and that’s not good news.”

The city’s share of the state’s 4-, 5- and 7-cent gas tax has also taken a dip. In 2010, the city’s share was $28,000 and this year it was $19,918. That, too, is significant.

“In all of my years with the city, our share of the state gas tax only varied slightly until recently,” Thomas said.

In 2011, the city’s share of the state gas tax was $27,103. In 2012, the share dropped 25 percent to $20,175 but only dropped slightly over 1 percent in 2013.

The downward trend indicates that gas usage is down statewide. And, that’s not good for the city or for the state, Thomas said.

But Thomas did have good news for the council. The city’s sales tax revenue is up from $407,603 in 2012 to $431,859 in 2013.

“That is an indication that we are recovering from the downward trend,” Thomas said. “In 2011, our sales tax revenue was $448,139. We’re not back up to that but we are moving in the right direction. Hopefully, we’ll keep moving that way.”

In 2009, the city’s sales tax revenue was $432,576 but dropped 7 percent in 2010 to $401,794. The sales tax revenue jumped 12 percent in 2011 to $448,139 before taking another dive in 2012 to $407,603 before and upward slide to $431,859 this year.

“Hopefully, we’re in a recovery period and that’s very good news,” Thomas said. “

Thomas said that Family Dollar was set to break ground on Wednesday but that would depend on the weather.

“That’s another retail business and that should increase our sales tax dollars,” he said.

In other business, the Council approved a request from Wal-Mart in Troy to allow off-duty police officers from the Brundidge Police Department to work during the holiday season through Dec. 31.

Brundidge Police Chief Moses Davenport introduced Officer Josh Parker to the Council members who welcomed him to the police department and to the Brundidge community.