Sales tax receipts generally up for bi-county area in May

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

After three months of sales tax revenues to the bi-county area falling below last year, receipts from the Department of Revenue took a bounce upward in May, keeping most year-to-date sums close to last year’s numbers.

Monett, which bucked the general trend in April with much higher numbers, did the opposite in May, with strikingly lower numbers. Monett’s two sales taxes totaling 1 percent for paying general bills received $138,906.25, down $15,704.71, erasing 84 percent of the big gain in April. The April gain, however, was so big that the two-month fiscal year sum of $312,185.60 is still $3,000 better than last year and only about $1,200 behind the record start to a new fiscal year in 2017.

Despite trailing last year’s pace in three out of the last five months, Monett’s sales tax has brought in $811,893.83 for the general fund in five months, nearly $20,000 ahead of last year’s pace.

Pierce City saw a striking gain in May. Its two sales taxes paying general bills generated $9,167.37, up $2,808.85 from last May and a record for the nine years two taxes have been collected. It was the second consecutive May to show improved receipts. For 2019, however, total general fund revenues are down over $9,000 as this was the first month of the year the Pierce City has topped 2018 numbers.

Purdy made it five months in the row topping 2018 numbers. The city’s 1 percent sales tax for the general fund produced $6,998.87, up $251.95 from a year ago. That gave Purdy’s general fund an 11-month fiscal year total of $64,923.83, nearly $5,000 ahead of the previous year. The calendar year total is up by $7,000, or nearly 30 percent.

Verona’s 1 percent sales tax for the general fund yielded $1884.01 in May, down $91.80 from a year ago. While it was the lowest May payment in four years, Verona’s two-month fiscal year sum was the fifth highest in the last 10 years. The 2019 sum was nearly $2,000 lower than last year’s pace, with receipts down in three of the last five months.

Sales tax to bi-county cities and county governments totaled $1,632,823.23, up 3 percent from a year ago. It was the fourth consecutive May to see rising receipts.

The seven Barry County cities generating sales tax received $537,628.20, down $2,310, or less than half a percent, from a year ago. Monett’s drop stood in contrast to major gains elsewhere.

Cassville’s 1 percent sales tax supporting the general fund generated $72,544.55, up for the consecutive month and a gain of $4,346.43 from last May. That put the year’s total up by more than $21,000. Seligman’s 1 percent tax yielded $9,313.03, a gain of $3,717.40, or 33 percent, from last year, a needed boost after three months of declines. Seligman’s 2019 total is down 33 percent from a year ago.

Exeter got an extra month’s worth of money when its 1 percent tax for paying general bills produced $2,329.06, up $1,41.36, or more than two-and-a-half times what came in last May. The total gave Exeter a 2019 total that was $400 ahead of its 2018 start.

Marginal showings appeared in Washburn, where the city’s 1 percent tax placed $1,598.81 in coffers for general bills, down $316.90 from last May, the fourth consecutive month of declines. That left Washburn’s 2019 total down $2,000, or 18 percent, from a year ago. Wheaton’s 1 percent tax generated $2,597.28, the best May showing in three years, up $783.68 from a year ago. Wheaton’s 2019 general fund sum, after seeing declines in three of the last five months, is at half of what it was a year ago.

Lawrence County’s six cities receiving sales tax received $382,893.09, a gain of 8 percent over last May. Only Aurora joined Verona in the negative column. Aurora’s 1 percent general fund tax received $79,516.16, down $1,669.65 from a year ago, but still the second highest total in the last five years. Aurora’s 2019 general fund total is up by more than $13,000 from the start of last year.

The biggest percentage gain showed up in Miller. That city’s two sales taxes supporting the general fund took in $8,966.59, more than double a year ago. With gains in four of the last five months, Miller’s general fund total is up nearly $9,000 or more than 26 percent.

Mt. Vernon broke a stretch of four months of declining receipts by receiving $54,979.37 from its 1 percent tax for its general fund. That was up $2,619.98, but left the 2019 sum down by more than $25,000. Marionville, in contrast, received $14,626.08 from its 1 percent general fund tax, up $5,576.76 or 38 percent from a year ago, the highest May total since 2011. The 2019 stretched past last year’s pace by more than $3,000.

Both counties saw jumps in revenues from countywide sales taxes, but oddly the Barry County numbers went up much more sharply despite the lackluster gains on the municipal level.

Barry County’s two half-cent sales taxes for general bills and supporting road maintenance each took in $156,898, both up by more than $9,278, or 6 percent. Payments were the largest in May on record, half again as large as 10 years ago. The boost propelled the county’s 2019 totals over last year by a little over $400.

The separate sales tax funding Barry County’s 911 service brought in $117,665.89 for the month, down nearly $7,000 from a year ago. The 2019 sum of $627,144.42, however, outpaced last year by more than $6,600.

Lawrence County’s two half-cent sales taxes for the general fund and roads each took in $109,559, each up more than $1,347 from last May, while the law enforcement sales tax received $112,830.07, a gain of $770.47. The older taxes were the second largest on record, behind 2017 tallies. The older 2019 sum from the taxes lagged behind last year’s pace by a mere $6,000.

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