Vinton sales tax revenue jumps nearly five percent

Vinton’s sales tax revenue has jumped nearly five percent over the previous year, according to a town official.

As of June 30, the town’s sales tax revenue has brought in $662,000, City Clerk Mary Vice said Monday.

The town budgeted $837,500 in sales tax revenue for its fiscal year ending Sept. 30, 2013.

Vice said funds from the sales tax go into the town’s special revenues fund and are transferred to cover operating expenses, capital outlay projects or “where there is a need.”

Mayor Kenny Stinson said an increase in sales tax revenue “really helps” the town’s budget.

“We budget for so much sales tax,” he said. “If we go over what we budgeted then that’s the money that we are able to do other projects with and give raises with.”

Stinson said sales tax revenue took a hit in previous years, but it has begun “going back up.” He said the increase can be attributed to several factors — more residents shopping locally and new businesses in town.

“I think one of the biggest things is people are doing more shopping in Vinton,” he said. “Gas has gotten more expensive, so it’s cheaper for residents to shop in Vinton rather than driving to Sulphur or Orange to do shopping.”

Stinson said the town has also been working to bring additional businesses to Vinton to allow residents “more choices,” which would in turn bring in more sales tax revenues.

“We’ve been talking to some businesses that are looking at Vinton and want to possibly move here,” he said. “Hopefully, that will help more and it will give residents choices. I think that’s where Vinton tends to fall short — we don’t have a lot of choices.”

Stinson said if more businesses and restaurants were located in Vinton it would help keep residents spending their money locally and putting it back into Vinton’s economy.

“I’m anxious to see how sales tax will come in at the end of the (fiscal) year,” he said. “I’m hoping that we can sustain the increase to the end of the fiscal year. We can surely use the additional revenue.”