The City of Pittsburg is reporting a year-over-year increase in the amount of sales tax received, according to figures provided by the city.
Collections are based off sales tax from two months prior.
The total for 2015 shows a collection of $7.38 million dollars — a 3 percent increase from the $7.16 million collected in 2014 — the city showed similar gains from 2013 year.
The 2015 increase means more spending in Pittsburg, something City Manager Daron Hall credits to improvements made by local retailers. In particular, the city manager pointed to renovations made by local grocery stores.
“I think we have had more foot traffic (this year) due to what we have done here in the grocery story with our recent remodel,” said Drew Rhodes, general manager at Ron’s Supermarket.
Jamie Clarkson, the city’s director of finance, sees the city becoming more of a “regional shopping area.” Neighboring communities often lack places to shop and get gas, so they come to Pittsburg, he said.
Figures provided from the city were minus the public safety sales tax approved by voters in 2013 which took effect in 2014, ensuring these numbers were “apples to apples.”
Clarkson uses the figures to estimate the city’s 2016 budget. Based on the upward trend, Clarkson is predicting a “conservative” 2 percent increase.
“I analyze prior years, but I also analyze the current year month-to-month,” Clarkson said.
Currently, sales tax in most of Pittsburg is 9.25 percent: 6.5 percent goes to the state, 1 percent to the county and 1.75 to the city.
The breakdown of the city’s sales tax is .125 percent to Memorial Auditorium, .125 to capital outlay, .25 to economic development, .5 to public safety debt sales tax, .25 to street and highway sales tax and .5 to public safety sales tax.
“Whether it is (city) vehicle replacements, economic development activities, the operating of Memorial Auditorium, public safety funding, those things are tied to that sales tax,” Hall said. “It looks good for those programs and the city overall, because I think the trend is that our sales tax (revenues) are going to grow, and that more people are going to choose to spend their money in Pittsburg.”
— Michael Stavola is a staff writer at The Morning Sun. He can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @MichaelStavola1.