Sales tax shows local economy growing in 2013

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Sales tax totals for the bi-county area closed 2013 with an overall 2 percent growth. The positive commercial trend was only shared by six of the 13 towns in Barry and Lawrence counties, but overall local governments had more money to work with to close the calendar year.

The seven Barry County cities collecting sales tax topped last December's total by 1 percent. Lawrence County's six cities showed an even smaller gain. With all but one Lawrence County city gained over a year ago, only Monett, Cassville and Wheaton showed gains in Barry County.

County-wide taxes showed marginal gains for the month and for 2013. The two Barry County 911 taxes, however, showed a 53 percent gain over last December.

Monett's two sales taxes for general expenses generated $158,230.29 in December, up $3,800.90 from a year ago. It was the fifth time in six months that Monett's revenues surpassed last year's rate. Income from Monett's four taxes was almost $6,800 higher than last December.

Monett ended the calendar year with a 2 percent gain in revenues.

Income from Pierce City's taxes were nearly even with last December. The city's five active taxes generated $17,678.26 for the month, down almost $1,200 from a year ago. Revenues from Pierce City's taxes have been up in four of the last six months.

Pierce City closed its calendar year with an increase of revenues of nearly 3 percent.

Purdy's three sales taxes paralleled Pierce City's in December, closing slightly below a year ago. The $10,001.81 total fell below last December by $1,189.32. Purdy's tax distributions have risen above 2012 levels only half the time in the last six months.

Purdy's sales taxes closed 2013 at 3 percent under 2012.

Verona inched above last December's numbers. The city's three sales taxes produced $4,236.94, up almost $200 from a year ago. Verona's tax income has topped 2012 in 10 of the last 12 months, closing 2013 with a 10 percent gain.

A compilation of numbers over the past 10 years shows the number of sales taxes collected in the bi-county area shows the number of sales taxes collected locally has grown from 31 in 2003 to 51 in 2013. Revenues to local governments have grown by more than half in that time.

Although total sales tax revenues, including the Barry County 911 tax, grew by 2 percent over 2012, tax income to local governments is still about $130,000 below the 2008 total, before the economic downturn. In the last five years, the seven new taxes have been added and two have been dropped.

The effects of the economic downturn still linger. Monett's two general fund taxes produced almost $90,000 more in 2008 than in 2013. Record disbursements month by month in 2007 and 2008 still stand in most cases for each of the towns.

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