While it is not exactly time for panic, the latest sales tax collections for Booneville did raise an eyebrow.
The city received a check from the state last week for $39,985.76 for each of its one percent sales tax assessments in the city. That marked the first time collections were below $40,000 in a month other than March in over two years.
"I don’t know what happened," Booneville Mayor Jerry Wilkins said last week. "The sales tax is sometimes reflective of the gas prices. When gas is higher then people have less to spend so the sales tax is down. But even that isn’t always the case.
"I thought it would be in the $42,000 or $43,000 range.
Taxes returned to the city each month are those collected two months prior so the November check was for transactions turned in by businesses for September.
The decline from October to November is 6.4 percent but the decline from November 2013 to November 2012 is only about 1 percent.
Year to date collection shows a decline of 0.6 percent. In 2012 the tax took in $517,649.14. Through November this year $473,157.22 has been collected.
Because personal and real estate taxes are due in mid-October, Wilkins also noted, it is not uncommon for the October collections, returned in December, to be down, so another sub-par month could be coming.
The dip for November is the third straight month on the heels of the last unusual collection, it being a $53,494.28 return in August marking the best collection in well over two years as well.
"We never did figure that out," Wilkins said.
One of the one percent taxes is distributed to 10 city entities through a formula approved by city voters when the tax was renewed for a fourth five-year term in 2010.
Through that distribution 24 percent goes into a city improvement account; 20 percent to the street department, 12 percent to the police department, 10 percent each to the fire department and parks commission, 8 percent to the Area Agency on Aging/Booneville Sr. Citizens Center, 7 percent to the airport commission, 4 percent to the Booneville Development Corporation/South Logan County Chamber of Commerce, 3 percent to Oak Hill Cemetery and 2 percent to the Booneville Library.
The second one percent tax that is dedicated to Booneville Community Hospital. However, as stipulated in the ballot initiative, one quarter of the tax is withheld for construction projects so the hospital’s operational share of its November tax was $29,989.32.