Friday, December 19, 2014

City lauds record sales tax figures as sign of economic rebound

By The Herald Staff | 7/2/2014

Ottawa cash registers rang at a record clip through the first six months of 2014.

“It’s the best first six months we’ve had on record,” Scott Bird, the city’s finance director, said Tuesday. Bird’s records date back to 1991, he said.

Ottawa cash registers rang at a record clip through the first six months of 2014.

“It’s the best first six months we’ve had on record,” Scott Bird, the city’s finance director, said Tuesday. Bird’s records date back to 1991, he said.

The City of Ottawa raked in $214,012 in sales tax in June to raise collections to $1,280,352 for the first six months of the year — $68,761.50 (5.68 percent) ahead of the first six months of 2013 when the city took in $1,211,591, according to a city sales tax report.

“I think it’s a sign our local economy is looking pretty decent,” Bird said. “I talk with a lot of [business owners], and that is the sense I’m getting.”

The recent openings of the expanded Advantage Ford dealership, 2320 S. Oak St., near I-35, and the Monoflo International plant at 1550 N. Davis Ave., in the city’s industrial park, have produced new jobs and helped stimulate the economy, Bird said. A 54,000-square-foot Price Chopper supermarket scheduled to open in spring 2015 on the city’s south side at 1921 Princeton Circle Drive also should help stimulate economic growth, Bird said.

It should be no surprise the city is on a record pace this year. Collections for each month have outpaced 2013’s totals, according to city figures.

The city’s top sales tax month this year is February at $233,316, well above February 2013’s collection of $206,861. Only one month in 2013 — July at $240,050 — topped this February’s total.

The city’s 2014 sales tax collections are running about 3.04 percent ahead of budget projections, according to a city report.

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