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City reports sales tax receipts up so far in 2003

A positive note from the city clerk’s office is that the city’s sales tax receipts for the first quarter of the 2002-03 fiscal year are up .05 percent.

&uot;Although there are many variables that affect those sales tax numbers, I think overall the city enjoyed an increase in retail business over the holidays that translated into an increase in our sales tax receipts,&uot; City Clerk Linda Vanden Bosch said. &uot;But it’s hard to put an exact figure on exactly how much of that is a true increase.&uot;

The world of sales taxes is extremely complicated, the clerk explained, and sometimes the numbers don’t tell the whole story.

&uot;For example, there are months that look as if the sales tax receipts have increased dramatically,&uot; Vanden Bosch said. &uot;But when you look closer, you see that we are just getting monies that have been delayed from previous months for various reasons, and we get a lump sum.&uot;

Net monthly sales receipts for the first quarter of FY 2002-03 look like this: October ’02 – $289,001.94; November ’02 – $272,713.91; December ’02 – $205,420.95; and January ’03 – $418,208.49.

Vanden Bosch explained that the amount for the January ’03 collection is an example of a jump created by delayed collection.

&uot;The merchant collects the sales tax from the customer during the month, and remits it to the State Department of Revenue the next month,&uot; she said. &uot;The state will then submit the city’s taxes to us.&uot;

Through all of these departments and the various accounting systems the taxes have to go through, the collection sometimes is delayed and not submitted for the month it was collected, Vanden Bosch said.

&uot;Therefore, we will have a lump sum come in later – usually toward the end of the year and usually from the larger companies – which will show up in our January statement,&uot; she said.

Although the city isn’t seeing any large increases, Vanden Bosch believes that the new companies coming into the area and revenue derived from the interstate traffic have kept Greenville from suffering too greatly from the economic woes of the country.

&uot;We have been fortunate that we are this close to the interstate,&uot; she said. &uot;It has helped keep Greenville moving forward.&uot;