By Bob Anderson
Florida Parishes bureau
January 16, 2013
Livingston Parish sales tax revenue rose 7 percent in December, compared with the previous year, marking the 26th straight month that tax receipts have increased, parish records show.
The Denham Springs Economic Development District, where Sam’s Club and Bass Pro Shops are located, proved to be the star of the month with a 148 percent increase compared with December 2011.
The Bass Pro Shops store and a number of smaller restaurants and retailers were open in December 2011, but Sam’s Club hadn’t opened yet. Since its opening, sales tax collections in the district have soared.
More than 70 percent of the sales taxes collected in the district are still being used to pay off $50 million in bonds used for infrastructure and construction of the building that houses Bass Pro Shops.
Denham Springs, the parish’s largest municipality, saw a 9 percent rise in its sales tax receipts. That was helped by the portion of tax receipts that went to the city rather than to the development district, said Mike Curtis, who heads the parish’s sales tax collection program.
Walker, the second largest city in the parish, had a 6 percent decline compared with the previous year. That decline was due in part to collections in December 2011 that were inflated by payments resulting from several audits, Curtis said.
Tax receipts rose 13 percent in Springfield, 11 percent in Albany and 2 percent in the town of Livingston.
Total sales tax income across the parish rose from $5.8 million in December 2011 to almost $6.2 million in December, records show.
The December collections by the parish reflect retail sales that occurred in November.
Tax receipts for the School Board, Sheriff’s Office and Parish Council rose more than 3 percent when compared with the previous December.
The parish’s hotel and motel tax brought in 35 percent more revenue in December than in the same month a year earlier.
Motor vehicle tax receipts rose 13 percent. Motor vehicle taxes go to the taxing district where the buyer lives and not to the district where the seller is located.