Sunday, September 21, 2014

City sales tax collections: Best we've had

By The Herald Staff | 4/9/2014

The City of Ottawa’s sales tax collections continue to outpace early returns in 2013.

The city opened the year by taking in $201,594 in sales tax in January, $6,272.18 or 3.21 percent more than collections of $195,321 in January 2013, according to city figures. Sales tax collections were more robust in February, when the city took in $233,316 — $26,495.01 or 12.81 percent more than February 2013 collections of $206,821.

Though Scott Bird, the city’s finance director, has yet to release March sales tax figures, he said March collections were up about 1 percent compared to last year.

“It’s the best February we’ve ever had and the best first three months we’ve ever had,” Bird said. 

The numbers indicate the local economy is continuing to improve, he said.

“It was a good first quarter, and I think it’s a sign the local economy is doing OK,” Bird said. “I talk with a lot of [business] people. It depends on who you talk to, and I get some mixed reviews, but for the most part what I’m hearing is positive. I think it also bodes well, especially when you consider as cold of a winter as we had.”

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