Alabaster school revenues higher than projected

The Alabaster School System is in positive financial shape, according to Superintendent Dr. Wayne Vickers. (File)

The Alabaster School System is in positive financial shape, according to Superintendent Dr. Wayne Vickers. (File)

By NEAL WAGNER / City Editor

October typically is a slow month for ad valorem sales tax collections, which Alabaster School Superintendent Dr. Wayne Vickers said gives him optimism for the future.

“We got $1.2 million (in ad valorem taxes) for October,” Vickers said after a Nov. 14 Alabaster School Board meeting at the new Alabaster City Hall. “That will probably be the lowest amount we get until next March or so.

“You usually get the lion’s share of your ad valorem taxes in November and December,” Vickers added.

Vickers said the $1.2 million in collections for October was significantly more than he has seen at the other school systems he has worked with, including Saraland.

“As a new district, it’s exciting to see those revenues come in,” Vickers said. “Everyone hears about the sales taxes, but nobody has heard about the ad valorem taxes.”

“I think that’s a good sign for the economy as a whole. Home values and property values are up,” Vickers added .

Alabaster City Schools finished its first year of sales tax collections about $300,000 ahead of projections in January, and is on par to finish ahead of its sales tax projections again this year, ACS Chief Financial Officer Sarita Tapscott said.

ACS leaders previously said they expected to bring in about $3.8 million in sales tax revenues each year after the City Council approved a 1-cent sales tax increase for education in 2012.

From January 2012-January 2013, the 1-cent tax increase generated about $4.1 million, and had generated a total of more than $7 million through October 2013.

Tapscott said the school system’s current spending is about 8 percent lower than projections.

“It’s definitely a good day,” Vickers said on Nov. 14. “We are going to be in great shape financially.”