Jackson tax revenue rises by 6 percent

Friday, December 17, 2004

The city of Jackson saw a 6 percent increase in sales tax revenue in 2004, city administrator Jim Roach said Thursday.

The figure is double what the city estimated it would be when it set its budget a year ago. The extra revenue will be carried over to next year's budget.

"It tells us our community is growing, particularly in the commercial area," Roach said. "Jackson continues to grow residentially. We issued about 100 building permits last year. But it's exciting that the community is becoming more balanced."

Large sales tax revenue increases are nothing new to Jackson. Last year was something of an anomaly with a 2.7 percent increase, by far the worst increase in the last 12 years.

Otherwise, the city saw revenue increases of 6 percent or more seven times since 1994, reaching a high in 1999 with a 13 percent increase. During that span, sales tax revenue hasn't dipped below a 4.27 percent increase, with last year as the exception.

The city's tax revenue growth reflects the new and expanded businesses. Several new commercial subdivisions have popped up in recent years.

Marci Mann opened a shop to sell antiques last September on Main Street, then renovated a place on highly traveled East Jackson Boulevard.

"With us going to war and everything, people just didn't spend as much money last year," she said. "It's gotten a lot better this year. I think the sales tax is doing better in Jackson because the city is growing by leaps and bounds."

Other local governments had solid tax revenue years as well.

The city of Cape Girardeau is showing an increase of 4 percent for the 2004 calendar year. After several flat years, the city budget anticipated no sales tax revenue increase for fiscal year 2005, which began July 1.

"We didn't budget zero percent because that's what we expected, but because we were being ultra-conservative," said John Richbourg, the city's finance director.

With two new big stores -- a Sears Grand and a Kohl's -- coming to the city, Richbourg and other city officials are hoping for a continued upward trend.

Sales tax so far this fiscal year is 1.5 percent more than last year's levels, Richbourg said.

Cape Girardeau County Auditor David Ludwig was dead on in his budget prediction for 2004. The county ended the year with a 3.35 percent increase. The actual sales tax revenue of $5,669,499.19 was just $171.81 above the projected revenue for 2004. The county saw just a 2.80 percent increase in 2003 and a 0.35 percent decrease in 2002.

The county and the city of Jackson, which both begin their budget years in January, project a 3 percent growth for 2005.



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