Montgomery’s latest revenue report shows people are still shopping despite COVID-19

Updated: Nov. 19, 2020 at 8:03 PM CST
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - October’s revenue numbers were a mix of good and bad news for the City of Montgomery.

The good news: the city’s sales and use tax is up 5.4 percent compared to October 2019. It’s a small sign local retailers are seeing much-needed foot traffic.

“Citizens are continuing to really be active in the economy by purchasing from local restaurants, hopefully take out as much as possible, shopping at home improvement stores and grocery stores, as well as purchasing online,” stated Mayor Steven Reed. “For now, purchasing is holding steady.”

As for the bad, Montgomery’s lodging tax is down 37 percent year over year. That translates to $376,722.48 fewer dollars brought in by tourism compared to last October. Reed doesn’t expect a sizeable shift anytime soon.

“All the projections tell us that the second quarter may not be much better as well,” Reed explained. “That’s even with the talk of vaccines and hopefully getting that to a level that more and more people have access to them. While the vaccines may be on the market in the next couple of months, even that won’t get us back to a sense of normalcy.”

The city’s gasoline tax came up around $78 thousand dollars short compared to last October. The alcoholic beverage tax, Montgomery’s smallest revenue stream was up 13 percent, accounting for more than $31 thousand dollar increase year over year.

Two college bowl games are scheduled for Montgomery in December, which could provide a much-needed infusion of cash into the local economy.

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