A major drop in sales tax revenue to the bi-county area in March broke the trend of gradually improving economic indicators locally. The drop was widespread. Only one bi-county city surpassed tax revenues received a year ago.
Sales tax income going to the 11 cities and to Lawrence and Barry county governments totaled $1,308,924.83 in March, a drop of 12 percent from a year ago. The total was the first double digit percentage drop for the area since last September.
Monett's two sales taxes for the general fund brought in $135,571.08 for the month, down $27,851 or 17 percent from last March.
The March payment ended Monett's fiscal year. The general fund taxes took in $1,649,061.38, down almost $177,000 from the previous year. The total was $100 short of the 2004-05 fiscal year tally.
For the first quarter of 2010, tax totals for Monett's general fund, capital improvements and the Justice Center were all down by 8 percent from the start of 2009.
Pierce City's seven-eighths of a cent tax for general expenses produced $5,562.50 for March, down $989.60 from a year ago, the lowest March total since 2001. For the first quarter of 2010, each of Pierce City's sales taxes for general expenses, street maintenance and capital improvements are all down by 7 percent.
Purdy's two one-cent sales taxes, which will change with the April disbursement, came within $989.60 of last March's total. Each of Purdy's two taxes were down 5 percent compared to the first quarter of 2009.
Verona's one-cent tax for the general fund generated $1,916.43 in March, down $666.57 from a year ago. Income from both Verona's general fund and capital improvement taxes are down 39 percent for the quarter, the worst showing of any bi-county city.
The seven Barry County cities collecting sales tax income received $402,597.88 in March, down 13 percent from a year ago. Only Wheaton topped last March's total.
The six Lawrence County cities with sales tax income took in $332,026.65 for the month, a drop of 11 percent. Combining income from all taxes in each town, every city fell short of last March's total.
Only Washburn, up 12 percent, and Wheaton, up 11 percent, received significantly more sales tax income for the first quarter of 2010. Seligman's total was up by less than 2 percent. Mt. Vernon was down by only 1 percent.
Income to the following cities were all down for the first quarter of 2010: Aurora, 8 percent; Cassville, 5 percent; Exeter, 4 percent, Marionville, 9 percent; and Miller, 15 percent.
Sales tax income for county governments were down. Each of Barry County's two taxes were down by more than $24,300. For the first quarter of 2010, Barry County's sales taxes are each down by 5 percent.
Barry County's half-cent tax for 911 services, which is distributed separately, was also down by 5 percent for the first quarter of the year.
Income to Lawrence County's three sales taxes all fell by at least $12,700. Each of Lawrence County's taxes are down by 8 percent for the first quarter of 2010.