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Sales tax income mostly down in February

Monday, March 2, 2009

Monthly sales tax disbursements from the Missouri Department of Revenue offer a measure for how far the local economy has slowed. February numbers showed recent declines for Monett that were strikingly consistent, reflecting trends that continued across Barry and Lawrence counties. Only three of 13 towns collecting sales tax did better in February than they had a year ago.

In February, Monett's two sales taxes for the general fund generated $114,118.27. That was $22,143.56 less than last February, and the lowest for the month in three years. In December and again in February, Monett's payouts from the Department of Revenue have been off by 25 percent.

This sudden drop-off toward the end of Monett's fiscal year is taking a toll of the total. After 11 months, the city's general fund has received $1,662,588.12 for its general bills from sales tax, a $92,000 or five percent decline. The 2009 tally to date of $271,775.99, is off by seven percent from the start of 2008.

Monett's half-cent capital improvements tax brought in $57,059.17 in February, a dip of $11,071.80 for the month, putting the 2009 start up to $135,088.39. The quarter-cent tax paying off Justice Center construction delivered $27,756.18 into city coffers, down $4,941.48 from last February. In 2009, that tax has generated $65,002.75 so far.

Not all the sales tax news was dismal. Monett's general fund receipts for the month were still 48 percent better than in 2006.

Pierce City actually showed gains for February. Pierce City's seven-eighths of a cent tax for general expenses generated $4,228.90 in February, the second best February on record and a gain of $1,182.97 over a year ago. The amount put Pierce City's 10-month fiscal year sum at $60,501.52, which was $1,500 ahead of the old record, set in 2007.

The half-cent tax Pierce City collects for street maintenance yielded $2,416.56 for the month, up $676.03 from last February. The 2009 total is up to $5,804.50. The city's half-cent tax for capital improvements produced $2,416.43, up $676.97, for a year-to-date sum of $5,804.32.

Purdy's numbers were more similar to Monett's. That city's two one-cent sales taxes brought in $8,595.14 to city coffers, a drop of $2,212.65, a drop of 20 percent from last February. Nonetheless, it was the second-best February on record.

Purdy's eight-month fiscal year tally was pushed up to $75,740.46, which is still up 17 percent over last year's pace. The 2009 sum is now at $16,723.40.

Verona had one of the worst disbursements for the month in the area. Its one-cent sales tax for general bills brought in $1,833.01, a drop of $1,939.38 or more than 50 percent from last February. Though it was the smallest February disbursement since 2005, it was still triple the size of the 2005 payout.

Verona's 11-month fiscal year tally is nonetheless up to $31,878.01, almost $1,000 ahead of last year's pace. The 2009 sum is up to $6,936.36. Verona's half-cent tax paying for police and fire service took in $916.63 in February, down $969.55 from a year ago, for the calendar year total of $3,468.19 so far.

All of the above totals, and those shown below, include the semi-annual interest. The Department of Revenue earns interest on payments made during the year, and shares that with tax recipients in February and August.

Not counting the Barry County sales tax for "911", the total sales tax coming into the bi-county area in February was $1,013,536.33, a drop of almost 20 percent from a year ago. On balance, though, it was the second highest February total on record.

The seven Barry County cities receiving sales tax revenue got $355,845.66 total, a drop of 15 percent from last February. Every town but Wheaton recorded a drop in funds.

The six Lawrence County towns getting sales tax received $211,033, a drop of 22 percent, but the total was still $36,000 better than what was paid out in 2007. Only Pierce City and Miller bested the 2008 totals.

Sales tax to the remaining bi-county cities follows. The comparison to last February is shown in parentheses, while the 2009 total is in brackets:

• Aurora $68,412.70 (-$13,874.18) [$156,861.59 in 2009]; streets $34,238.40 (-$4,885.65) [$74,572.28 in 2009]; police/fire $34,284.74 (-$6,861.33) [$78,560.12 in 2009];

• Cassville $65,231.95 (-$10,008.29) [$134,549.53 in 2009]; capital improvements $32,615.89 (-$5,004.12) [$67,274.44 in 2009]; park/storm water $32,615.73 (-$5,004.33) [$67,274.36 in 2009];

• Exeter $1,411.91 (-$663.74) [$3,2027.09 in 2009];

• Marionville $3,777.11 (-$3,762.21) [$16,713.29 in 2009]; streets $1,888.48 (-$1,881.14) [$7,412.40 in 2009]; park $944.25 (-$940.67) [$4,178.24 in 2009]; police/fire quarter-cent $944.26 (-$940.28) [$4,178.39 in 2009]; police half-cent $1,888.53 (-$1,879.99) [$8,356.55 in 2009];

• Miller: one-and-a-half cent taxes for the general fund $3,192.40 (+$502.69) [$9,807.85 in 2009]; police $953.93 (+$288.52) [$2,892.16 in 2009]; fire $477.02 (+$144.67) [$1,446.24 in 2009];

• Mt. Vernon $24,109.88 (-$12,318.49) [$74,129.67 in 2009]; two half-cent capital improvement taxes $24,109.77 (-$12,318.14) [$74,12.47 in 2009];

• Seligman $6,107.61 (-$1,586.66) [$12,323.09 in 2009]; capital improvements $3,053.91 (-$793.24) [$6,161.58 in 2009]; streets $3,053.80 (-$793.29) [$6,161.45 in 2009];

• Washburn $1,270.46 (-$559.32) [$2,925.31 in 2009]; streets $635.20 (-$279.63) [$1,462.60 in 2009]; capital improvements bond repayment $635.19 (-$279.69) [$1,462.67 in 2009];

• Wheaton $1,685.25 (+$159.65) [$7,316.66 in 2009].

Barry and Lawrence counties ended up about equally lower from the taxes they received for the month.

Barry County's half-cent tax for general expenses pulled in $112,523.60, a drop of $26,554.84 from last February. The 2009 total to date of $259,653.64 is running 10 percent below the first two months of 2008.

The half-cent tax Barry County shares with its road districts yielded $112,523.29, a drop of $26,555.58, for a 2009 total of $259,653.25.

The half-cent tax that comes to the "911" service, separate from the county's regular coffers, received $56,264.66 in February. That was down 20 percent from last February's record, but was still $15,000 better than what was paid out in 2006.

Lawrence County's half-cent tax for the general fund delivered $73,872.95 for city coffers. That was $24,650.82 less than last February. The 2009 total is up to $182,701.87, a drop of six percent from the start of 2008.

The half-cent tax Lawrence County uses for road and bridge maintenance brought in $73,873.42, down $24,650.09 from last February, for a calendar year total of $182,702.12. The half-cent tax paying for construction of the new Judicial Center received $73,864.41, down $23,767.23 from a year ago. The 2009 sum from that tax is now $182,678.09.

The use tax Lawrence County collects to make up for sales tax on out-of-county transactions generated $61,697.92 for the month, making the 2009 total $87,682.31.

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