Upswing in sales tax collections to end 2018
At a time of year associated with gift giving, St. Mary Parish sales and use tax collections delivered at the end of 2018.
November and December 2018 collections “both showed a nice increase over last year,” said Jeff LaGrange, parish sales and use tax director, in an email.
LaGrange anticipates that January collections from December sales, as part of the Christmas season, will be strong, too, and continue the trend of the strengthening economy, he said.
The jump in recent sales tax collections is encouraging. But uncertainty exists about the overall economic outlook, because oil prices are probably going to increase more slowly than officials had hoped, said Frank Fink, parish economic development director.
December had $2.97 million in collections, a 14.4 percent rise from the $2.59 million collected in December 2017. Excluding collections due to financial audits, collections increased 8.4 percent.
However, December hotel sales tax collections dropped to $36,024, an 11.9 percent decline from the $40,897 collected in the same month of 2017.
In November, parish sales and use tax collections totaled about $3 million, a 10.3 percent increase from the $2.72 million collected during November 2017. Not counting collections made as a result of financial audits, collections increased 9.1 percent.
The most recent employment statistics continued five straight months of month-to-month declining St. Mary jobless rates. The rate got down to 6.1 percent in November from 6.2 percent in October, according to the Louisiana Workforce Commission.
With the spike in the final two months of 2018’s sales and tax collections, the fourth quarter saw $9.03 million in collections, a 6.3 percent increase from the $8.5 million collected in 2017’s fourth quarter. Excluding audits, collections climbed 3.1 percent.
Fourth quarter hotel taxes brought in $121,008, a 9.5 percent decrease from the $133,646 collected in the final quarter of 2017.
Collections for the entire year totaled $36.1 million in 2018, a 2.1 percent increase from the $35.37 million collected during 2017. Without audits, collections rose 0.5 percent.
Hotel tax collections saw little change overall from 2017 to 2018 as the $490,660 collected in 2017 decreased 0.3 percent to $489,242 in 2018.
Morgan City’s road royalty sales tax brought in $68,645 in net collections during December, a 20.6 percent rise from the $56,938 in December 2017 collections. Overall, road royalty net collections totaled $778,150 in 2018, a 2.6 percent decrease from 2017’s collections of $799,311.
For the third quarter, officials collected $8.89 million, an increase of 0.3 percent from the $8.87 million collected in 2017’s third quarter. Without audits, collections dipped 0.3 percent.
The second quarter saw $9.05 million in collections, a 0.2 percent rise from the $9.03 million collected in the second quarter of 2017. Excluding audits, collections rose 2.2 percent.
In the first quarter, officials collected $9.12 million, a 1.8 percent increase from the $8.97 million collected in 2017’s first quarter. But without audits, collections decreased 2.8 percent.