City Releases Sales Tax, Lodging Revenue for May 2020

The city of Dothan releases Lodging Tax Revenue for May 2020.
The city of Dothan releases Lodging Tax Revenue for May 2020.(The City of Dothan)
Published: Jul. 6, 2020 at 6:49 PM CDT
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The loss of needed tax revenue has hit every community because of Covid-19. Dothan is no exception.

“That’s had a major impact on our sales tax revenues and our lodging tax revenues,” City Manager Kevin Cowper said.

The city released its latest tax collection numbers for the month of May, and there is positive news. Cowper said sales tax revenue was over budget in collections for the month of May. Lodging taxes collected from hotels, however, continue to disappoint.

April was the first month the city came under budget on sales tax projections for 2020. May’s sales tax income numbers showed improvement, compared to the month prior.

“The pandemic will have created a hiccup for us. We would have lost some sales tax revenue but overall, all things considered, we’re very thankful we haven’t had a bigger impact than we’ve had,” Cowper said.

While city income from sales tax revenue overall are over budget $600,000. Lodging tax collections are under budget.

“Obviously travel has been impacted greatly by this pandemic and the numbers are really showing that, we’ve been under budget for, I think, four months now on our lodging taxes,” Cowper said.

Cowper says he’s confident that the Future Masters and other summer events will help improve the lodging tax, with more people coming to the Wiregrass to stay.

“We expect those numbers to turn around. So very good news on the sales tax front, not so good news on the lodging tax,” Cowper said.

To help reduce the sting of some of the money loss, Cowper says the city held back on some projects to reduce spending. It also froze employee raises at the time. He says if Dothan maintains its current levels through the end of the year, the projected budget could exceed by about $4 million.

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