The trickle of sales tax pennies to Madison County declined in 2008, compared to the previous year. And the downward trend continued in the first month of 2009.
According to figures provided by the county commissioners’ office, January sales tax revenues for the county government totaled $139,116 last month, down 23.3 percent from $181,456 in January 2008.
Overall, sales tax collections dropped four percent in 2008, down $88,752, from $2,129,010 in 2007 to $2,040,258 last year.
While the nationwide decline in consumer spending certainly hurt local SPLOST revenues, the sharp spike in gas prices last summer actually helped keep sales tax revenues from taking an even deeper flesh wound.
As people forked over around $4 per gallon of gas bought in the county, Madison County saw some of its highest monthly SPLOST totals in recent years. For instance, the county collected $225,363 in sales tax funds this past September when gas was around $4 a gallon.
Like other local governments across Georgia, Madison County relies heavily on sales tax funding to carry out needed improvement projects.
Madison County voters said “yes” last year to a renewal of the one-cent SPLOST. And county leaders projected that the one-cent tax would raise roughly $12.6 million for county and municipal improvements over the next six years.
Typically, the Madison County government has seen a yearly increase in SPLOST revenues. However, the economic downturn is forcing leaders to questions those projections.
For instance, Madison County Commission Chairman Anthony Dove has suggested that the county government take a wait-and-see attitude on sales tax projects, such as the expansion of the county jail, noting that the county needs to get a better grip on how much SPLOST money is actually going to be available for those endeavors.
I would like to see a liquor store. There are a lot of people in the county that buy liquor in Clarke County and thats a large sin tax the county would see. I know it's not much but, It would be a major improvement. People are going to buy it no matter where they have to go why not let the city's and County make a profit instead of just giving that income to the county next door. Maybe if we had a gas station that had gas without ethanol in it we would get more people in. In Augusta there are 4 stations that offer gas without ethanol and you have to wait in line to get gas plus they charge 30 cents more a gallon more tax money for the county (ethanol is not good for older model cars and it cuts your gas milage by 40%). I don't see a small town like ours getting any major companies in this economic crisis but, maybe simple things could improve our profits. I'm no expert just wanted to share a small idea I know it would not fix the whole problem but, maybe it could show some small improvement.
02/06/09 at 09:27 AM
Counterpoint - what about the DUI revenues that might be lost from drunks driving back from Clarke County?
Hey money is money it will be the same people getting DUI's driving this way as it would be going back. I see your point I just don't understand why we can buy all the beer we want but we cant get liquor its taxed higher and brings more busness to the small town. At this point our town needs all the imcome we can get.