Identifying citizens, elected officials and city employees who have done more with less, Mayor Herb Adams said Pacific was in charge of its own destiny during what had become known as The Great Recession.
Those same individuals can be credited with Pacific turning the corner on hard times.
Speaking at the Jan 7 board of aldermen meeting, Adams said it appears the city has turned the corner on the recession and he wants to thank the citizens of Pacific for supporting local businesses.
The mayor said his administration has repeatedly asked citizens to shop locally when they could and recent sales tax revenue trends seem to indicate that they have responded.
“While many are still hurting from the effects of what was called The Great Recession, I can say our businesses are starting to ring up sales in a big way,” Adams said. “Our November sales tax numbers were better than any of the last decade. The same with the previous month of October.”
Sales tax revenues jumped 31 percent in November 2013, over the same month a year ago, and registered a large amount.
October 2013 saw a 44 percent increase in revenue over October 2012, he said, although with a smaller amount.
Sales tax collected in Pacific in November was $99,689 in the general fund and $50,099 in the capital improvement fund for a total of $149,788 in 2013, up from $114,438 in 2012.
“That’s a huge increase in local sales tax revenue over the same month last year,” Adams said.
Those numbers were up from $75,752 in November 2012 in the general fund and $38,686 in the capital improvement fund.
October 2013 sales tax was $52,698 in the general fund and $27,106 in capital improvements for a total of $79,104. October 2012 sales tax revenue was $35,147 for the general fund and $19,695 for capital improvements for a total of $54,845.
“That was an increase of $24,259 or 44 percent increase over the same month a year ago,” Adams said.
Sales tax revenues also exceeded last year in the months of April, May, June and August, although not as dramatically as in October and November.
“We survived the years of 2009, 2010 and 2011,” Adams said. “During those years of low sales tax revenue, I said we were not participating in the recession and we didn’t.”
City Administrator Harold Selby said he could not offer specific shopping patterns that created the increases.
“We don’t get a breakdown of where the taxes come from. I do get a report once a year, but have not yet received that,” Selby said. “I was thinking that building materials may be involved. McBride (Homes) has really been going fast and furious with their building at Eagles View.”
All three subdivisions — Eagles View, Westlake and Heritage Farms — are building homes and new families are moving in all the time.
“While we have not added many places to spend money at, we have added people to spend money,” Selby said.
Even during the reduced revenue years, Pacific was able to continue its aggressive street and sidewalk projects, acquire stimulus grants for a blower and controls at the sewage treatment plant and added lighting on Osage.
“And, we even built this (new government center) building,” Adams said.
After doing all that, the city was still able to put money into its contingency reserve funds, he said, in both the general fund and the tourism reserve fund.
“Thanks for this accomplishment should go to our aldermen, other elected officials and our employees who have found ways of doing more for less,” Adams said.
Increased revenue from purchases in existing stores is only the beginning, the mayor said.
“In the spring, we will have a new discount grocery store, which will not only generate sales tax from local citizens, but will attract shoppers from outside the city to come here and shop,” Adams said.
The city also is in talks with other retailers who are looking at Pacific locations to open new businesses.