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Demopolis sales tax figures up for December

Demopolis mayor Mike Grayson released the sales tax revenue figures for December 2008, and the news is fairly good.

For the most part, the numbers not only match as compared with December 2007, but when compared with the first three months of the fiscal year (October through December) from last year, with the calendar year (2008 over 2007) and over the month of November, the December ’08 sales tax revenues are up.

“December of ’08 versus December of ’07, it was up by 1 percent,” Grayson said. “December over November, it was also up 1 percent. For the fiscal year (which begins in October), it was up 1.56 percent over this time in 2007-08, and for the calendar year, it was up 1.77 percent over 2007.

“I would probably attribute it to the high fuel costs. Perhaps, a lot of people decided instead of driving to wherever, they decided to shop at home, and I’m sure our local merchants were pleased with that. Also, I’d have to give credit to our merchants. Maybe they had to get creative to get some of that local business. Maybe we got some out-of-town shoppers because of the variety and the offerings that were here.”

Grayson said the sales tax for December 2008 was $329,792, with the fiscal year to date total up to $982,985.

“This is the fat time of the year,” Grayson said. “Typically, through January is when we would have our business license renewal and our property taxes would be coming in. The other stuff — the gas tax, the sales tax — that rolls in all during the year, but these are the big months. We’ve got to make that last to get through the lean months, which would be any other time than this, because we don’t have all that other stuff flowing in.”

Grayson also commented on a Black Belt mayoral conference held in Livingston on Friday.

“It went well,” he said. “It was really the first meeting of the new year. It was really more of an organizational meeting, because there were some new people like myself. I met Mayor Glenda Dubose of York, and Mayor Jamaal Hunter from Uniontown. It was nice being with some old hands, too, like Mayor Thomas Tartt III of Livingston, who has been mayor for 29 years.”