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Jefferson City sales tax revenues continue to drop

Jefferson City sales taxes have fallen behind projections again, but the city still expects to end the fiscal year with a surplus thanks to the harsh winter temperatures.

At the Finance Committee meeting Thursday, interim Finance Director Bill Betts reported that though the city’s sales taxes have continued to lag, the revenue forecast model is projecting the city will end the 2014 fiscal year with more than $145,000 in surplus funds.

“Overall, we’re on pace to be in good shape,” Betts said.

One major reason for that is the city’s revenues from franchise and utility taxes, which are estimated to bring in more than $236,000 alone in surplus funds. That increase helps offset any losses from sales taxes or any other underperforming revenue generator. Betts said the harsh winter is likely the cause, as the increases are coming from electrical and gas utility taxes.

April receipts, which reflect the February reporting period for sales taxes, show the city’s 1 percent general revenue sales tax fell behind by nearly $40,000, bringing the tax behind projections by $64,421 for the year to date.

The city’s half-cent capital improvement tax fell behind by nearly $65,000, bringing the tax more than $85,000 behind projections for the year to date.

The half-cent parks tax fell behind by roughly $24,000, bringing it $45,538 behind projections for the year to date.

Third Ward Councilman Bob Scrivner asked if sales tax collections were down at the county and state level as well, noting he wanted to know if this was a trend many communities are seeing or if the city’s projections were simply off.

Betts said the state sales tax receipts for the first quarter were down, but he did not know whether the same was true for the county.

Related document:

Jefferson City Revenue Model Report

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