Montgomery's sales tax revenue on the rise

Posted by: Melissa Johnson - bio | email

Montgomery, AL (WSFA) - There is good economic news for the Capital City.  For the second month in a row, sales tax revenue is up.

September's report, which actually accounts for returns in August, were up 5.3%.

That's a nearly 10% increase since July, and it's part of the reason the city is rounding out the fiscal year on a positive note.

Mayor Todd Strange said, "We have $472,000 more in sales tax revenues in fiscal year 2009 than we did in fiscal year 2010."

A sector with big gains--the auto industry.  Managers at Capitol Hyundai say their numbers follow the trend.

General Manager Stan Hurst says, they saw a nearly 50% increase in sales this year compared to last year.

People aren't just buying new cars, they're spending more money in general, and it's driving up revenues for the city.  In fact, Montgomery will not only close out the fiscal year in the black, they'll finish with extra money in the bank.

Mayor Strange says the reserve now totals around $5.5 to $6 million dollars.

It's a big change over this time last year, when the city had to dip into its reserves, and local businesses hope is a sign we're gaining speed on an economic recovery.

Hurst said, "We've sustained this long enough that I've felt comfortable enough to add a little staff.  I believe things will be more normal next year than they have for the last couple of years."

And there's more good news for the city.  Lodging taxes are up 2.5%, and 80,000 more hotel rooms were booked this fiscal year than last.

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