The final numbers have been tallied, and the City of Dothan experienced a 10.7 percent increase in sales tax revenue growth in the 2019 fiscal year.
Overall, the city collected $74,123,723 in sales tax revenue from October 2018 through September 2019 – an increase of almost $7.2 million more than the previous fiscal year. The figures beat officials’ budget projections by $11.9 million.
Strong sales in August bolstered remittances as business submitted more than $6 million in sales tax revenue in September. The tally represented an 11.1 percent increase over the same time period in the 2018 fiscal year.
In sales tax subcategories, automotive sales taxes increased 3.9 percent for the year, while machines and manufacturing tax collections fell 25 percent and farm/agriculture taxes fell 5.7 percent. The latter two categories tallied $240,697, under the previous year’s tally of $299,001.
Lodging taxes also sizzled for the vast majority of the 2019 fiscal year, registering a 23.6 percent increase to $3,950,920. The amount topped budget projections by $1.25 million.
September remittances, reflecting August sales, tallied $287,436 – a gain of more than $59,000 from the previous year.
Hurricane Michael’s impact on surrounding counties played a role in the overall gains. Michael, a Category 5 storm, struck the area just 10 days into the new fiscal year and heavily damaged several communities in adjacent counties – causing multiple hotel stays and increased shopping in Dothan.
Businesses have maintained the growth experienced in the months following Michael, however, also signaling the strength of the local and national economy. In recent months, Wiregrass counties have experienced some of the lowest unemployment numbers ever recorded.