Pelham school fund tops $1.6 million
By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor
Pelham saw its highest revenue yet in December from a 1-cent sales tax increase enacted in September 2013 to help support the upcoming Pelham city school system, the city’s finance director said during a Feb. 3 City Council meeting.
During the council’s pre-meeting work session, Pelham Finance Director Tom Seale told city leaders the 1-cent sales and use tax increase generated $431,439 in December.
Seale said the Christmas season fueled the December revenues, which were significantly larger than previous months. In September 2013, the tax increase generated $398.770, followed by $396,408 in October and $382,675 in November.
“The December numbers were good, as expected, as we try desperately to build up a reserve as we move into the startup of the city school system,” City Council President Rick Hayes said during the work session, noting the Pelham Board of Education is targeting a July 1 split date from the Shelby County School System.
To date, the sales tax increase has generated more than $1.6 million for the Pelham education fund. Also during its Feb. 3 meeting, the City Council voted to donate $84,000 to the five Pelham schools – $60,000 of which came from the city’s school fund.
Before the City Council passed the sales tax increase, Seale projected the increase would generate about $400,000 per month for the fund.
According to an ordinance passed by the council, the education fund “shall be expended to support public education for the residents of Pelham, and for any other expenses deemed necessary for the support of the public schools located within the city limits of Pelham, as directed and appropriated by the City Council.”