Shoppers drive sales tax collections up

By: Chris Thomas Email
By: Chris Thomas Email

News 12 at six o'clock, December 3, 2007

Augusta, GA---This year's sales tax collection is up by over four million dollars. News 12 is taking a closer look at what's going to come of all that money. "I'm retired so I can work my hours free as a breeze." Sue Claxton is one of many opting to spend her free time shopping. Like Sue, Denise Dungee shops at least once a week, and for good reason she says. "To catch the good sales, walk, exercise, and just to get out."

The results...special purpose sales tax money coming in faster than expected....ahead by 4.5 million dollars. Store managers say keeping the racks stocked is getting to be a challenge, "Oh without a question, we had the day after Thanksgiving, we saw positive growth from last year and continued."

City financial analyst Tim Schroer says, "We have $160 million dollars worth of projects that the board has approved so all this means is that projects can move ahead faster." A new library is one of those projects. 77, 000 people come in and out of the library each year, but there's one problem.

"It's backed up again, and I say are you kidding," says Mashell Fashion, assistant library director.

For months, the library has been battling plumbing issues. Managers are now taking matters into their own hands. "Right, we in effect check-out the bathroom. Hey if somebody doesn't have a library card they can't use the restroom."

Besides the plumbing...not enough space...the library is having to put books upstairs, and the books are becoming a feast for the rodents. The library director says it's time for a new place."

"I'm frankly embarrassed when people come from other cities... they come in and they look around and say where is the main library? We say...This is it."

No matter how you read into the numbers more sales tax dollars mean a win-win for both local stores and the city at large.

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