Pelham saw an increase in tax collections in 2013 compared to 2012. (Contributed)
Pelham saw an increase in tax collections in 2013 compared to 2012. (Contributed)

Archived Story

Pelham tax revenues ‘better than expected’ for 2013

Published 1:56pm Wednesday, October 2, 2013

By NEAL WAGNER / City Editor

Pelham’s tax revenues came in better than expected to end the city’s 2013 fiscal year on Sept. 30, according to city Finance Director Tom Seale.

Overall, the city’s tax revenues were up about 6.8 percent over the 2012 fiscal year, signifying a positive direction for the city’s economy, Seale said after briefing city leaders on the numbers during an Oct. 1 budget work session.

“We finished better than expected in several revenue areas,” Seale told Mayor Gary Waters and City Council members during the work session. “I am very encouraged by the numbers.”

At the end of the 2013 fiscal year, Pelham’s sales tax revenues were up nearly 6 percent over the previous year, while the city’s lodging tax was up about 11.2 percent over the previous year, Seale said.

Seale called sales tax revenues a “good economic indicator” for the city, noting the 1 percent sales tax increase for Pelham’s school fund, which went into effect Sept. 1, is considered separate from the city’s tax revenues.

“This is a gauge of how the economy is improving in Pelham,” Seale said.

Also during the budget hearing, Seale laid out potential costs for purchasing new Christmas decorations to place along U.S. 31 in the weeks leading up to the holiday.

Seale said the city’s current lighted snowflakes, which have been placed on light poles along U.S. 31 for decades, are “in bad shape,” and said they are in need of replacement or repair.

It likely would cost the city about $134,000 to purchase new LED snowflakes to place along the highway. Seale said the city’s wreath decorations also are heavily worn.

Last year, the city placed wreaths on every third pole along U.S. 31 during the Christmas season, and placed lighted snowflakes only on major intersections, Seale said.

  • David Ladewig


    Every Pig farmer thinks they know more about raising and finishing pigs than anyone else. They rock along being experts in the pig business taking 97.3 days to finish the pigs for market and then something happens.

    An expert figures out a way to increase the profits on a pig farm by DESIGNING a better pig pen and utilizing the by products of the pig. Porciola El Recuerdo was the expert who invented the process of bedding verses concrete and lowered the raise and finish time to 92.1 days. Additionally, the profit levels increased utilizing by products and reductions in clean time.

    One by one, the pig farmers, who knew everything, adopted this method and as was expected still think they are the best pig farmers in the business. They took ownership of a better design. Those that did not adapt are not pig farmers now. They didn’t listen to the designer and failed.

    The fact that the in office council has hired more experts, consultants, and professionals than anyone else in history is not on its merit negative. It means the pig farm has needs and there is no expertise at city hall to make improvements so the hirings are justified. Only when the farmer knows everything with no new expertise do you get a poor product or a product that does not have the potential for accelerated profits.

    I know this may be over your head, but go buy a pig. Raise it and finish it. If you do it like you always have done it you make less and if you do it right, you make a better profit. The original purchase of the pig is the same no matter what you do, so why not do it right?

    • pantherlover

      Voters love people with elitist attitudes representing them as well. Especially voters in conservative, middle class suburbs. See, you aren’t that out of touch! *sarcasm intended*

      • David Ladewig

        PL, I knew it was over your head. You don’t understand pig farming at all.

  • pantherlover

    Here’s the deal, Ladewig. You’ve never been in touch with what the people of Pelham want. The only ones really upset about this school system are the Hwy 36 “crowd” Not Hwy 11. Least get that part right. Those people will most certainly be allowed to de-annex as the city doesn’t even make enough money in taxes to justify the services that are provided. They want to be in Chelsea anyway, let em go. Everyone will be happy.

    Personally, I’m not wild about the school system myself, but Alabaster got one so we gotta keep up with the jones’. Once it’s up and running, it will be fine, and eventually we’ll have a shiny new high school just like Alabaster will be getting.

    You are forever linked with the last administration, therefore you will be forever challenged should you chose to run again in the future. We don’t need any more of that mess.

  • David Ladewig


    It would seem to thinking people with an ounce of sense, that wasting $134,000 on flake lights is not in the best interest of Pelham taxpayers or visitors. Although many would like some holiday spirit, the city decorations are so ugly, poorly laid out, and uncreative, the best thing that could be done with all of them is to burn them. The flakes, the silly trees, and all the rest of it. If the city desires to spend the taxpayers money for the holiday/Christmas/advent/etc., wouldn’t it be significantly smarter to HIRE A DESIGNER to show city hall how to get a look that is pleasing to the eye, and a big cut above the junk that is continually put up? Even new flakes are ugly the way it is done. There is no thought, no art, and no beauty in its implementation or results. The council has hired consultants to tell them what brand of toilet paper to use to guess budgets for schools. Why not make the city look like it cares about its image during the holidays? It is better to have nothing than to look like a bunch of hilljacks painfully trying to “get ‘er dun”.

    • pantherlover

      It’s funny to hear you talk about consultants, especially since you and your BFF Meadows never met one you didn’t like. That being said, I’d be against the city hiring a designer to put up Christmas lights. It’s nice to have them, and only people with too much time on their hands or who want something like an “enlightenment center” really care about the style. We are just happy to have the lights. The last administration got all scroogy and tried to cut them all out, just like they wanted to get rid of half of the police and fire departments. That bunch (with which you were closely affiliated) had tons of great ideas!

      • David Ladewig


        It appears that you would rather “get ‘er dun” than get it right. Costs $134,000 to do it your way. It might cost less and look better my way.

        Just a quick fact check for you. If you will read the minutes of council meetings, you will discover that the current council has hired more consultants and professional firms in its first year that the last two administrations did in twenty years.

        Finally, my associations are not your concern. I get along with just about everyone, but I have little tolerance for stupid people with ideas that aren’t any better than doing nothing. If you have some ideas, put them out there. If they are the same old rhetoric, please don’t.

        The citizens of this town, and some in particular, are not real happy with city hall right now and it would be prudent for the city council and administration to start making friends with the people they have trampled on. They could start that task on Highway 11. You may be elated with all the doings and one of the in crowd, but not everyone is in that position.

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