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County sales tax revenues catch up

St. Francois County Commissioners

Earlier in the year the county’s sales tax revenues were reported as down 8 percent over last year, but that sharp decrease appears to have been an artifact caused by delayed postings on the state’s part.

Treasurer Kerry Glore presented a sales tax report for 2011 showing that revenue collections for the general fund are just a little ahead of last year as of May 2011. The numbers show collections of $1.322 million through May 2011 versus $1.319 million for the same period last year.

Total tax collections for the General Fund, Road Improvement Tax fund and Law Enforcement funds are down about 1 percent. The figures show tax collections of $3.150 million through May 2011 and $3.172 million for the same period last year, or about $21,000 less than last year.

Glore was unsure why total sales tax revenues are slightly down for the same period last year while general fund sales tax revenue collections are slightly up. She said the only difference between the two is that the general fund includes some utility taxes., while Road Improvement and the Law Enforcement sales taxes don’t. She believes that is probably causing the difference.

Glore said she was told by state officials that snow days, the holidays, filing dates and staff shortages had caused the state to be a little behind. “They told me things would probably catch up soon, and it looks like they have,” Glore said.

Commissioners indicated they are relieved the county revenues are only down 1 percent rather than 8. The county has taken a number of steps to reduce expenses and increase revenues. They have renegotiated contracts and asked office holders to hold the line on expenses. So far the efforts appear to be paying off, with the county managing to put aside a substantial emergency reserve fund.

On other matters, the county decided to hire two people for labor positions in the Road and Bridge Department. Presiding Commissioner Dr. David Cramp noted the county had 400 applications for the two positions. “That’s an indication of the times we’re in,” he said.

The two individuals hired were Justin Hampton and Tommy Bergen.

Commissioners plan to have a bid opening soon for the Germania bridge which connects off Highway 8 at the back end of Terre du Lac. There are actually two bridges on Germania which will be repaired, but the upcoming bid opening is just for one of them.

Commissioners took time to talk to some school children who visited the meeting about county government before adjourning to a closed session for the purpose of discussing personnel and contracts. The next meeting of the St. Francois County Commission will be at 10 a.m. Tuesday.

Renee Jean can be reached at 573-431-2010 ext. 117 or

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