City sales tax up 6 percent
Wednesday, April 30, 2014 1:00 AM
Philadelphia has seen a $165,369 or near 6 percent increase in sales tax collections since July 1, a trend which sends a positive message to potential new business including restaurant chains, the mayor said.
Sales tax makes up more than half of the city's revenue stream and funds such operations as police, fire and street departments, among others.
From July 1 to-date, the city has seen $2,989,240 in sales tax collections, up from the $2,823,870 reported for the same period a year earlier.
Philadelphia reported $330,589 in sales tax collections for February, up from the $322,364 for the same month in 2013.
Mayor James A. Young said the sales tax collections are a good sign that people are "doing business in our city and county and we hope that trend continues."
The city has attracted several visitors in recent months, he noted, because of different events going on, especially at the coliseum.
Philadelphia's tourism tax is up 33 percent since July 1 or $23,825.
In February alone, tourism tax rose to $7,468. It was at $5,831 for the same period the previous year.
Philadelphia collects an additional 3 percent tax on hotel rooms. Those monies are used to promote tourism.
Mayor Young said the city continues to pursue new business, particularly restaurants.
"Everywhere I go people are looking and asking about grocery stores and restaurants," Young said. "When I ride around on Saturday and Sunday, it really tells me that we need this next level of restaurants to our area."
Young said he continues to field calls from consultants working for different companies.
"They say the atmosphere here is positive and it's just a matter of convincing corporate headquarters that this area is a good investment for their business," he said. "Consultants track everything that goes on in an area and our area has been tracking to a positive side. Those with investment capital, look at the movement of a community and for this whole year it has been positive here."
The state's sales tax collections have a three-month cycle. Tax is collected by the retailer one month; it is reported and paid to the state Tax Commission by the retailer the second month; and the diversion is paid to the cities by the Tax Commission the third month.
The following figures reflect February sales tax collected in surrounding areas/cities with 2013 figures in parenthesis:
Canton: $191,790 ($190,736).
Carthage: $131,681 ($130,525).
DeKalb: $20,114 ($20,451).
Flowood: $806,882 ($768,659).
Forest: $199,465 ($192,657).
Louisville: $155,009 ($141,611).
Madison: $464,142 ($455,718).
Meridian: $1,233,721 ($1,183,631).