Thursday, December 18, 2014

Ottawa logs best-ever sales tax figures

By DOUG CARDER, Herald Senior Writer | 8/2/2013

Ka-ching.

The sound of sales tax ringing up on cash registers across Ottawa was music to city officials’ ears in July.

Ka-ching.

The sound of sales tax ringing up on cash registers across Ottawa was music to city officials’ ears in July.

“The first seven months of 2013 is the best seven months we’ve ever had [since Ottawa has been keeping records of sales tax receipts],” Scott Bird, the city’s finance director, said.

The city’s total sales tax collections for July were up $43,496.97, compared to July 2012. The city collected $240,050 in sales tax last month, up from collections of $196,553 in July 2012, according to a city report.  

“July was the second best month we’ve ever had, going back to May of 2007,” Bird said. “I think it signals the local economy is looking pretty good, and I hear some of that when I am visiting with business owners.”

The city’s total sales tax collections of $2,117,943 are up $113,516.93, or 5.66 percent, through the first seven months of the year, compared to the same time period last year, Bird said.

“Honestly, I thought July would be a little soft, because June was a robust month, and we tend to follow a sawtooth pattern on sales tax [collections],” Bird said. “So, I was pleasantly surprised.”

Total sales tax collections for June were $212,680, up $16,050.67, or 8.16 percent higher than June 2011 collections of $196,629, according to city figures.

Ottawa’s sales tax growth mirrors a statewide trend, according to a Kansas Department of Revenue report.

Sales tax receipts beat collections reported in July 2012 by $9.1 million, or 5 percent, which indicates that people are spending more money in Kansas, the revenue department’s top official said in a news release.

Revenue receipts also beat projections for July — the first month of new fiscal year 2014 — by $3.1 million, the department said.

“I’m pleased to see that the state is beginning the fiscal year with more revenue coming in than projected, indicating an improving economy,” Nick Jordan, Kansas Revenue Secretary, said.

If the first seven months are any indicator, Ottawa’s sales tax collections for 2013 could finish strong, Bird said.

“We are on pace to have the best year we’ve ever had, if the trend continues,” Bird said. “We’ll have to see, but the numbers through the first seven months are encouraging.”

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