City tax receipts down

Published 6:42 am Wednesday, June 22, 2016

The city of Bogalusa is facing a potential $1 million revenue shortfall this year, due to low sales tax returns.

Stacy Smith, the city’s director of administration and accountant, reported that sales tax receipts, as of May, are down $329,894 compared to budgeted expectations. If that trend continues, the city will end the year down $989,682.

Although the temporary shutdown of the paper mill in late winter accounted for some decline, Smith said she couldn’t account for the drop overall. However, Smith said it could be that last year’s robust tax receipts were the outlier.

“Last year (we were) up $500,000, so maybe last year was a fluke,” she said.

Smith said she has yet to do a detailed analysis to determine what might be the cause of the shortfall. In March, the city suffered catastrophic floods and there had been hope that home and building repairs would spur local spending. If it did, that spending still did not outpace last year.

Nevertheless, Smith said the city has not had to borrow any money from the state to cover any day-to-day expenses.

“So far, we’re holding our own despite it,” she said. “So hopefully we can continue to hold our own. We haven’t had to borrow any from our budgetary loan or anything.”

Although state lawmakers did raise sales taxes, that 1-cent increase goes to the state, and not to local governments.