$5 million dollars!

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - The story of Eddie Givhan may explain why Montgomery sales tax receipts went up in July. Givhan says he is spending a little more than he did a year ago, an extra $40 a month.

"It seems things are easing a bit," said Givhan who is retired but also attends school.

The numbers.

Sales tax revenues for Montgomery shot up 5.7% in July 2011 compared to July 2010, a time when like one of the trees in downtown Montgomery, things were just dead.

"Last year the July numbers were up 0.5%," Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange said with a laugh.

The August sales tax numbers could be even better because of the Department of Defense Information Technology Conference at the Renaissance Hotel and Spa and the Dragon boat races last weekend on the Alabama River.

Both events brought in a combined 12,000 people to the city and that's not all.

"We had a ton of things going on in August. 48,000 people came into downtown for Buckmasters, and they spent money in the city," said Mayor Strange.

Here's a look at the River Region.

Wetumpka's July sales receipts are down 7% over last July but Wetumpka expects to end the fiscal year up about 2%.

Prattville's situation is a bit trickier. That city would have shown a loss had it not been for the one-cent sales tax increase that started May 1. Instead sales revenues were up over $386,000.

Even with the back-to-school sales tax free holiday weekend in August, Montgomery city leaders expect a good month. So good, in fact, they anticipate ending the fiscal year with an extra $5 million in the bank. They are confident.

A step in the right direction, Eddie Givhan for one is starting to feel the same way about the economy.