Mt. Vernon, MO Enjoying Sales Tax Jump

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MOUNT VERNON, Mo. — Sales tax revenue for last year was up by about $500,000 in Mount Vernon, Missouri.

Tracy Bradshaw is no stranger to running her own business. For more than 10 years now, she’s seen the ups and downs that can come with that.

“We’ve had a steady, kind of a small increase over the 10 years,” said Tracy Bradshaw, Keen Bean Coffee Roasters owner.

But that’s all changed.

“This has been our biggest year,” said Bradshaw.

She’s not alone. Mt. Vernon City Administrator Max Springer says sales tax revenue was up in 2015 across the board.

“Our sales at the end of the year ended up about 24% higher than we were the previous year,” said Max Springer, Mt. Vernon City Administrator.

That translates to about $500,000. Springer says there are several factors responsible for the increase.

“This is the first full year that we’ve had the Wal-Mart store open here in town, and some other expansions that took place with the TrueValue and the Orschlen’s coming to town,” said Springer.

He says every business, including Keen Bean, has played a part in that.

“Ours has not just been locals. We get a lot of passers through. So, obviously, we’re not far off of I-44, but we have a customers that are Joplin to Springfield travelers,” said Bradshaw.

Springer says the increased revenue will be making it’s way back to tax payers in a way.

“We’ve got three different sales taxes, you know. We’ve got our general sales tax, which is one cent. We’ve got a transportation tax, which goes towards our streets and stuff. And then, we’ve got a capital improvement that goes to the sewer and waste water,” said Springer.

Springer says for now, the city isn’t seeing the full benefit of that increase. An agreement with Walmart, put in place when the new store was built, allows the corporation to keep a portion of the money in exchange for having paid for infrastructure to build the facility.

However, Springer says the increase in revenue exceeded expectations and will allow that agreement to be paid off this year instead of 2017. For now, business owners like Bradshaw say they’re optimistic about the future and what it holds for them.

“My hope would always be that Mt. Vernon is on the grow. It’s a great place, it’s interesting, and I hope to see it continue,” said Bradshaw.

Springer says so far this month, sales tax revenues have leveled off a bit, but are still up by about 2% over the same time last year.

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