Receipts take a hit

ST. MARYS — For the second month in a row, income tax collections for the city of St. Marys have sagged behind 2010 numbers.

In July, the city collected $261,572.49 — down from the $306,857.68 it netted in 2010. Despite the decrease, the city still outpaced 2009’s figure, which was $258,111.76.

A poor July also put the city behind last year’s overall number. To date, the city netted $2.239 million, while last year it took in $2.283 million during the same time period. In 2009, the city took in $2.157 million during the same time period.

“We’ll have to continue to monitor it,” St. Marys Safety-Service Director Tom Hitchcock told The Evening Leader. “It’s been two months now that haven’t been really great.”

Before the two-month downturn, the city surpassed its 2009 and 2010 figures and approached its 2008 totals. Hitchcock said the recent lull is hard to explain.

“We really don’t know why (it fell),” Hitchcock said. “We will have to watch it. We are lower now than last year but we are still close to last year. We would like to see that number get back higher than last year.”

Help could be on the way. Kohl’s is set to open a store in September and TSC, Beer Barrel and BW3 will follow — leading to more than 300 new jobs.

“The new stores and new employees will definitely help us,” Hitchcock said. “They are looking at 300 jobs and since we run off income tax, that will be helpful.”

Officials will soon start finalizing the 2011 budget. A preliminary spending measure was brought before council earlier this year and the finalized version is expected to land on their desks by December.

“Obviously we will keep it in mind but crunching the numbers won’t really start until the end of September,” Hitchcock said. “Then we work through October and into November and take it to finance committee the last week of November and to council the first meeting in December.”