Sales tax revenue collected in the city of Washington has shown stable growth over the past decade.
That is despite the “Great Recession” that began in 2007 and lasted through 2009, along with down economic years nationwide.
Since 2008, the 1-cent general sales tax revenue has grown $559,415, about 14.9 percent. The capital improvement sales tax and the transportation sales tax, both one-half cent, have grown $279,709 and $278,393, or 14.8 percent each, respectively.
Mary Sprung, finance manager, said Washington has fared well in the past decade.
“We continue to see growth considering over the 10-year period there has been a recession, and in other years the economy slowed down,” Sprung said.
The information was presented to the Washington City Council May 21 in the city’s comprehensive annual report.
Three Sales Taxes
The general fund sales tax has been collected since 1970. It funds a variety of projects and services throughout the city.
The one-half cent sales tax that collected for capital improvement projects was renewed in April for eight years. Citizens originally authorized this tax in 1989 for five years.
It was reauthorized for a second period of eight years starting in 1994, a third period of eight years starting in 2002 and a fourth period starting in 2010.
The transportation sales tax was approved by voters in April 2005. It went into effect Oct. 1, 2005, with expiration date of June 30, 2030.
The revenue only can be used for transportation purposes, including, but not limited to, payment of local share of the cost of expanding Highway 100 from Interstate 44 to High Street from two lanes to four lanes.
2017 Fiscal Year
The city’s fiscal year runs from Oct. 1 through Sept. 30. In addition to the three sales tax rates equaling 2 percent by the city of Washington, county and state taxes bring the total sales tax to 8.35 percent.
There was a 1.45 percent decrease in general fund sales tax revenue in the year ending in 2017, compared to the previous year. In 2017 there was $4,333,183 collected compared to $4,396,930 in 2016.
However, that decrease could be deceiving, according to Sprung.
Sales taxes are collected by businesses and submitted to the state where they are distributed to municipalities.
Sprung explained that there was a change in the software used by the state. There may have been sales tax revenue collected in the 2017 fiscal year that was not reported until December 2017, which means the actual revenue was not properly reflected in the state’s data.
She added that tax revenue reports from the state took much longer than is typical and the January report was larger than expected.
“If you look at the sales in January it was up $160,000,” Sprung said. “A lot of that was backlogged.”
Following is the sales tax revenue reported in the general fund over the past 10 years, followed by the percentage change from the previous year:
2017 — $4,333,183, down 1.45 percent;
2016 — $4,396,930, up 3.9 percent;
2015 — $4,231,776, up 5.95 percent;
2014 — $3,994,367, up 6.79 percent;
2013 — $3,740,534, up .22 percent;
2012 — $3,732,411, up 2.15 percent;
2011 — $3,653,879, up 4.59 percent;
2010 — $3,493,564, down 1.97 percent;
2009 — $3,563,682, down 5.57 percent; and
2008 — $3,773,768, up 6.94.
There is one Community Improvement District (CID) that was established in 2006 which authorized an additional three-quarter-cent sales tax on purchases made at stores in the Washington Phoenix Center II. The total sales tax in the shopping center is 9.1 percent.
The percentage of change over the past 10 years in the CID changed greatly annually.
Sprung noted that is due to when businesses report sales tax to the state. If a major retailer in the shopping center is late to report it can sway the figures in the annual report.
“If a business reports untimely it makes a huge difference,” she said.