Dothan sales taxes dip, hospitality taxes take a nose dive

Published: May. 29, 2020 at 6:16 PM CDT
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Dothan sales tax revenues, as expected, dipped in April, though the city's mayor is thrilled the numbers aren't worse.

Figures released late Friday show about $5.3 million was collected, over $1-million less than the same month a year ago, or a decline of 17 percent.

“I'd be thrilled at 20 percent,” Mayor Mark Saliba said earlier Friday, at the conclusion of a city commission budget meeting. “We see other cities that have seen a 30 to 40 percent decline.”

Many retailers closed during March after Alabama Governor Kay Ivey ordered them to do so in response to the coronavirus pandemic. However, essential businesses that remained open appear to have thrived.

Sales taxes paid by individual retailers cannot be publicly disclosed under state law. However, it is reasonable to assume stores such as Walmart, Target, Lowe's, Home Depot, and Sam's performed well during the month. Popular drive through restaurants also likely had thriving sales.

The biggest hit came in the hospitality sector where April collections, compared to the same month last year, fell 65 percent. Only $130,000 in hotel taxes were collected in April 2020.

Since the beginning of the fiscal year on October 1, Dothan automotive sales taxes are essentially at budget, accounting for $1.6 million in tax revenue.

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