Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

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June 2, 2014

Sales tax revenue keeps rolling — As far as positive trends go, the sales tax revenue for Pauls Valley looks to have kept the good times rolling for the 2013-2014 fiscal year.

In fact, things went so well that just about every month saw a significant increase compared to the 2012-2013 fiscal year, according to City Manager James Frizell.

This is considering that there is still a month of collections left to go before the year officially ends June 30 and all but guarantees that it will again be the best year on record.

“We’re up a little over five percent from last year, we don’t see any reason for it not to go up,” said Frizell, noting how they were currently at about $4.8 million collected for the year as of May. “Our sales tax is healthy right now.”

Helping put it in perspective, last year’s high for total revenue collected was $5 million and if the average of $441,795 per month for all city taxes holds, it should end up no less than about $5.3 million in the coming weeks, noted Frizell.

Also contributing to the good numbers was the fact that overall collections only dipped below $400,000 once, which was back in November with $399,132.

Even when sales tax collections were down in a month compared to the previous year in January at $433,440 this time to 436,824 before (a drop of $3,369), it was still the third best on record in the past 10 years.

Add to that the best average collected for a single penny since the city first started tracking that back in 2009/2010 with $110,449 for each of the four cents.

That ended up being a little over $5,000 a month higher on average than last year.

For a single penny, the best month was December with $118,456 collected, but coming close behind that was $116,815 for February and $114,000 for the month of May.

The best months overall for sales taxes was $467,262 for February (up $53,568 from previous year), $473,824 for December (up $18, 067 comparatively) and $456,140 for May (up $66,668 from last year).

In the end, it was an opportunity for Frizell to remind people that a lot of this revenue is thanks to projects like Vision 2010, which began back in 2000.

That’s when community leaders agreed to bring in amenities that would encourage people to spend money here. Be it new stores or more recently the recreation and aquatics center, it is allowing the tax to hit impressive strides.

“It’s gone up every year since 2009… We started tracking this after the recession,” said Frizell, noting how this is further complimented by the motel (tourism) tax that they use to advertise the town.

“We have been building toward this for 14 years. We put in all those mechanisms in place to bring people to town.”

Frizell pointed out how it shows they are doing something right when those core pieces are creating other benefits.

This includes things like hotels that have multiplied near the interstate in the past several years and the possibility of more by the next.

Additionally, the 2014-2015 fiscal budget year will see the start of the half cent sales tax for Pauls Valley General Hospital, with the first collections beginning in July.

Frizell added how it will take until September 8 to get an idea of what that tax will bring in and what they have to work with.

“You know the community has done things for that to happen,” said Frizell. “It didn’t just pop up overnight.”

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