City sales tax revenues increase

Published 10:02 pm Sunday, August 1, 2010

Figures reported by Atmore City Hall show that sales tax for fiscal year 2009-10 are up by almost 13.5 percent over last the fiscal year with two months left to go in the period.

Revenues show 13.48 percent increase over last year’s sales tax revenue figures after the 2008-09 fiscal year showed a 4.62 percent drop over the previous year.

Atmore Mayor Howard Shell said the increase in tax revenues for the city could be attributed to an influx of workers to the area.

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“Some of the power behind the increase in tax revenue is that we have had a lot of people come into town with the pipeline project going on,” Shell said. “They are basically living here paying for hotel rooms, food and general shopping. That will certainly increase tax revenues and we are thankful for it.”

Shell said the pipeline project brought in approximately 400 people to the Atmore area creating an opportunity for tax revenues and general sales in the area to see an increase.

“Those 400 or so people could be here through the end of the year,” Shell said. “We are thankful for the increase in revenues for everyone. We’d like to think they are permanent, but it won’t be something that will be around forever. We are hopeful revenues will continue to do well.”

Although the increase in tax revenues may be temporary, Shell said the additional people in Atmore could last for several months boosting the local economy.

“We hope they are here through at least the end of the year,” Shell said.“The last time I spoke with officials with the pipeline company that was their estimated time to be in the area. Of course, we don’t have control over that. Things and schedules change and we have no way of knowing just how long they will continue to be contributors to our economy.”

Shell said tax revenues prior to the arrival of crews with the pipeline organization were not “desperate,” but certainly weren’t as good as some would like.

“We weren’t in a desperate situation before they arrived in Atmore,” Shell said. “We were holding on. We hope that our permanent local residents will continue to support local merchants in our area in an effort to keep our economy moving.”

Tax revenues for cities are the power that keeps local services available for residents of any community, Shell said.

Tax revenues help funds that provide fire, police, sewer and other services provided to residents through the City of Atmore.