Meigs County sees record sales tax revenue

By Sarah Hawley -

POMEROY — July was a record month in Meigs County.

The recent sales tax revenue report provided to the Commissioners by the Auditor’s Office shows a total sales tax revenue of $245,869.65 brought in during the month of July — the most of any month for the county.

A comparison sheet showing the past 11-and-a-half years shows amounts ranging from a low of $73,545.67 in April 2005. Amounts fluctuated between $80,000 to roughly $110,000 through 2010.

In June 2012, the Meigs County Commissioners improved as 0.5 percent sales tax increase which went into effect in October 2012. The half percent increase was the first in the county since February 1987.

At the time of the 2012 increase, the commissioners stated that the increase was necessary as there was not sufficient funds to operate the county government.

In Sentinel reports at the time of the increase, Commissioner Tim Ihle explained that the commissioners had looked at every way to cut the budget, and while the bills were getting paid there was no money left for capital improvements.

When the increase was put in place the idea was that if would bring in 50 percent more than it was doing prior. That estimate has been surpassed with the most recent numbers.

In September 2012, the month before the increase, approximately $115,000 was collected in sales tax. An additional half percent would have brought the amount to approximately $177,500.

That amount has been surpassed in nearly every month since January 2013.

The previous high month came in January 2016 with an amount of $239,277.24.

Ihle explained at Thursday’s Commissioner meeting, when discussing the report, that it is the sales tax revenue that funds local governments and encouraged local shopping as it goes back into the county. Ihle explained that even if a vehicle is purchased out of county the sales tax can be applied to the county where the vehicle is titled, which means the funds could still come back to Meigs County.

It is the increased revenue from the sales tax that has allowed the county to have a general fund carryover balance at the end of the year, as well as make capital improvements along the way such as the painting of the courthouse. (See related story on page 1).

The current sales tax rate in Meigs County is 7.25 percent, with 1.5 percent going to the county.

Rates across the state range from 6.5 percent to as high as 8 percent.

Athens and Gallia counties both have a 7 percent sales tax, while Jackson, Vinton and Washington each have a 7.25 percent sales tax rate.

By Sarah Hawley