Calera expects opening of Publix will ease sales tax shortfall

CALERA — Calera Mayor Jon Graham invited everyone to the grand opening of Publix Supermarket on Wednesday, April 28, at 6:45 a.m.

The opening of the upscale supermarket can’t come a moment too soon for Calera, which is lagging behind in its sales tax collections thus far this fiscal year, said Calera Finance Director Roy Hadaway.

Calera budget’s calls for sales tax revenues for the 2009-2010 fiscal year, which runs Oct. 1 through Sept. 30, of $2.977 million. However, Hadaway said the city is behind about 7.75 perent as to where it should be at this point in sales tax revenues.

Hadaway asked that the city council delay making a decision on whether Calera will participate in this year’s statewide sales tax holiday, typically held during peak back-to-school shopping season. The council agreed to hold off on that decision until its second meeting in June, which is the last date it can notify the state about whether the city will participate.

“I expect when Publix and the other out-parcels that will be developed around it open up, we will make up the sales tax shortfall,” Hadaway said.

All financial news in Calera isn’t negative. Hadaway said so far this fiscal year, Calera is ahead of last year in new residential building permits by between 60 and 65 percent. He also said the city’s collection of ad valorem taxes, which is made up mainly of property taxes, is running a percent higher than last year.