Sales tax revenue up in Troy

Published 3:00 am Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Sales tax revenue in Troy is up over last year, although the numbers are still behind what the city had budgeted for the year.

City Clerk Alton Starling said the city has brought in $4.236 million through the first eight months of the fiscal year compared to just $4.209 million at the same point last year – an increase of about 0.6 percent.

Starling said the revenue is still 2 percent behind what the city had budgeted, which he said is not necessarily anything to be worried about.

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“That particular line item taken by itself not worrisome,” Starling said. “You’ve got lodging taxes, ad valorem taxes for automobiles – if you look at building permits, it’s not a huge amount of money, but they’re 20 percent ahead of last year.”

The sales tax revenue in the city, Starling said, is an indicator of economic activity – it shows how much people are spending in the city limits. However, there’s no way to determine exactly what drives spikes and dips in the revenue amounts.

Generally speaking though, Starling said the summer months tend to drop due in part to the exodus of Troy University students.

“We typically hover right around half a million a month for sales tax (in the summer) and then pick back up heavy in August and September,” Starling said. “People are buying season football tickets, students are buying books – that injects a lot of money into the economy.”

So far this fiscal year, which began October 2017, the highest revenue came in December at $565,362, an increase of $14,000 over last December’s numbers.

The low month was January at $482,477, which was still $24,000 higher than the previous January.

Three months this year were lower than the prior year – October, February and April – bringing down the gap between revenue intake this year and last year.

The city still has four months to catch up to the amount budgeted for the year, which the city plans expenses against for the year.