- Your News
By BRIAN JUSTICE
Retail sales in Tullahoma have been on an upward path and are averaging 9.9 percent monthly in the current fiscal year — a trend that has left city government leaders optimistic about the city’s overall financial health.
The latest report from the Tennessee Department of Revenue shows that Tullahoma had generated $933,487.44 in tax revenue from product sales from transactions made during March by businesses in Tullahoma’s Coffee County corporate limits
The figure is a 15.9 percent increase — $128,638.28 over the same month a year ago when $804,849.16 in sales tax revenue was collected.
Mayor Lane Curlee said the upward sales trend is great news for the city and businesses it would like to attract.
“Any increase like this is great news,” he said. “We want to continue to recruit retailers to Tullahoma, and we also want to work with our existing retailers to promote Tullahoma as a retail destination.”
Tullahoma also has businesses in its Franklin County section, but the total is small compared to sales made in the Coffee County section.
Thus far $32,803.51 has been collected and returned to city government this year from Franklin County businesses, compared to $8.358 million from sales made in the Coffee County section.
The $8.358 million is $1.506 million shy of the 2007-08 fiscal year when $9.864 million was collected.
At that time, the economy had not collapsed, and the local option sales tax rate was increased from 2 percent to 2.75 percent through a referendum vote.
With two months remaining in the fiscal year, Tullahoma would need $753,000 in each month to equal the $9.864 million.
Tullahoma has had more than the $753,000 collected in eight of the current fiscal year’s 10 months, leading to optimism that this could be the city’s best sales tax year ever.
“It’s an incredible amount,” Curlee said, referring to the sales tax collections.
However, he and other city officials say that although the trend is optimistic, the city has faced difficult financial times in recent years and has had shortfalls in its budget due to a bad economy with minimal new development and a downward sales trend during a sluggish economy.
They’ve said they hope the upward retail sales trend continues so that more debt can be paid down to make way for other needed capital projects.