Archive for Thursday, June 24, 2004

Registers ringing with sales

Economic growth continues: sales tax up 58 percent

June 24, 2004

Sales tax receipts returned to Basehor for May from the Kansas Department of Revenue show a 57 percent increase over the figures from May of 2003.

The May 2004 report indicates that the 12,096.81 generated is 56.9 percent higher than the $7,710.95 figure for the same month last year. Overall, year-to-date figures show a 58.8 percent increase, nearly mirroring the monthly report.

The figures represent funds returned to the city by the state. Merchants remit sales taxes to the Kansas Department of Revenue, which then returns cities' and counties' share.

"It is definitely a good thing," Basehor Chamber of Commerce President Debbie Breuer said. "Any time you start having successful business to work with after not having that, that it is a good thing."

Breuer said the opening in 2003 of several businesses, including a pizza place, a liquor store, a fast food restaurant and a bar, in and around Basehor Town Square contributed to the increases that have taken place. However, Breuer said that the presence of new businesses alone is not enough to raise retail revenues.

"It is not enough just to have doors open," she said. "They have to be successful. Month after month, new businesses here have been doing better and better."

The latest figures only confirm a trend that has been in place all year. In April, the city's sales revenues were up 51 percent and in March revenues were up 119 percent. February figures showed the most dramatic spike of the year, a 140 percent increase, and January numbers from 2004 were up 54 percent over the previous year's.

Another chamber member agreed the trend is a reflection of the success and growth that area businesses have enjoyed in recent months.

"The increases show just how much retail growth the city has had," chamber member and past president Susan Guy said.

The dramatic increases that Basehor has enjoyed came with only a modest 5.8 percent year-to-date increase for Leavenworth County. The county's May sales tax receipts were down 4.5 percent from the same month last year.

While Basehor's numbers certainly look appealing now, Breuer was quick to point out that the increase in revenues will likely prove to be a sign of things to come rather than a fluke. Breuer said the city could land a car lot, at least one gas station and another retail business, to be located in the old temporary Community National Bank building. Those additions will likely translate to higher revenues for a long stretch of time.

"I think it will keep increasing next year," she said. "Things will continue to grow."

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