Sales tax income rises in March

Sales tax revenues to Barry County cities and the county government generally rose in March, though more than half the cities did not share the additional prosperity.

The seven Barry County cities collecting sales tax recorded a 2 percent gain over last March, thanks to both Monett and Cassville logging gains. Except for Purdy, the other cities all saw drops, though Wheaton’s total represents a drop only on balance.

Cassville made up half of its losses in February by recording $105,205.68 from its 1 percent general fund sales tax, up $2,259.74 from a year ago. It was the third gain in five months for Cassville, putting the 2024 fiscal year/calendar year sum at $324,426.53, up 3 percent from the start of 2023.

Seligman saw receipts from its 1 percent sales tax for paying general bills drop for the first time in five months. The city received $6,829.14, down $4,108.77, or 38 percent, from a year ago. That set Seligman’s first quarter of 2024 general fund sum down 6 percent from a year ago.

Purdy saw its 1 percent sales tax for its general fund rise for the second consecutive month after three months of drops, compared to the previous year. The tax produced $5,572.44, up $329.96 from a year ago. For 2024, Purdy’s general fund tax receipts total $16,576.70, down 10 percent from the previous year.

Wheaton’s sales tax clearly showed the uneven distribution of funds that has plagued the city since 2016, where the city’s half-cent tax brings in 30 percent of the 1 percent, instead of half. The general fund 1 percent tax generated $5,128.92 for the month, a gain of $274.53 over last March. The half-cent tax for transportation yielded $1,570.70, a drop of almost 40 percent, so on balance, the city had a loss for the month. For 2024, Wheaton’s general fund receipts are ahead of last year by less than $100, while the half-cent tax sum is down by more than $2,000, or 26 percent.

Washburn’s 1 percent tax received $3,048.34, down $1,317.62 from last March but up $1,187.41 from March 2022. It was Washburn’s second dip in 2024 and the fourth in six months. That put Washburn’s general fund total down 33 percent for the first quarter of 2024.

Exeter’s 1 percent sales tax paying its general bills received $1,977.26 in March, down $388.96 from a year ago. It was Exeter’s first drop this year, putting the 2024 sum up 35 percent from the start of 2023.

Monett, contrary to its recent history, logged in a gain over a year ago for only the second time since its use tax kicked in last June. The city’s two sales taxes for its general fund collected at 1 percent generated $196,137.45, up $9,045.72, or 5 percent, from a year ago.

Combining all Monett’s sales taxes for the month with its the use tax receipts, which end up in the general fund, total tax for the month was up nearly $100,000, or 23 percent, from last March. So far in 2024, without counting its use tax, Monett’s general fund receipts dropped by 2 percent. With the use tax, general fund revenues rose by 31 percent.

Countywide tax collections split like the city results.

Barry County’s two older .5 percent taxes for its general fund each produced more than $206,091, up more than $3,893 each for a 2 percent gain. The county’s use tax generated an additional $143,116.42, and 25 percent of that goes into the county’s law enforcement sales tax total. March totals represented the first gains of 2024 over last year, putting the general fund total from the two sales taxes collected for that purpose down by $3,407 or less than half a percent, not counting the use tax.

Barry County’s .375 percent tax supporting central dispatching and 911 services generated $154,568.04, up $2,925.61 from last March. That put the 2024 total down from last year by a little more than $2,000 or less than half a percent.