Pelham tax collections likely to top 2011

Published 12:44 pm Tuesday, September 25, 2012

By NEAL WAGNER / City Editor

Pelham likely will see its first increase in annual tax collections in years when the city wraps up its 2012 fiscal year at the end of September, said city Revenue Director Mike Morgan.

Morgan said the final collection numbers for the 2012 fiscal year will not come in until early October, but said the city is on track to record its first positive year since 2008. When the final sales tax collection numbers come in, Morgan said he anticipates they will be between $700,000-$1 million higher than last year’s numbers.

The tax collection numbers include sales taxes, use taxes, liquor taxes and several others, Morgan said.

“It looks like we are going to see an increase over last year,” Morgan said. “It’s been a deficit the last three years, so this is great news. This would be the first year we’ve seen an increase over the previous year in three years.”

Pelham also has seen an increase over 2011 in revenue generated by business licenses and permits. Morgan said the city already has its final business tax and collection numbers for the 2012 fiscal year, and said the numbers are up by about $133,000 over the 2011 fiscal year.

“That’s a 3.6 percent increase over the previous year,” Morgan said.

The city’s new commercial and residential building permits, which are tracked by calendar year, have “remained flat” this year, Morgan said.

“Because of the economy, I think that is going to remain flat,” Morgan said. “There has been no major change in the economy.”

However, Morgan said he attributed the rise in tax and business license revenue to Shelby County’s shrinking unemployment rate.

“I think because the unemployment rate is down a little, more folks are going out shopping,” Morgan said.

Incoming Pelham elected officials will decide if they will fund any capital projects during the 2013 fiscal year, which goes into effect Oct. 1.

The city’s new mayor and City Council members are scheduled to be sworn in during a Nov. 5 meeting. The current City Council recently voted to pass an operating budget mirroring last year’s operating budget to handle the city’s day-to-day operations until the new elected officials take office.