Holiday Sales Important to Local Governments

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Local shop owners are not the only ones hoping for a strong holiday sales season. Local governments are also hoping shoppers spend more this year.

The holiday shopping season officially kicks of on Friday, and local governments hope to cash in by collecting hundreds of thousands of dollars in sales tax revenue. It's money that helps the governments meet their budgets each year.

Paige Dukes, Lowndes County spokeswoman, says, "If we have slack times during other parts of the year, the holiday season really helps bring that average back up where it needs to be, so we're really hoping that we experience a lucrative holiday season."

Over the past few years, sales tax revenues for Valdosta and Lowndes Counties have grown during the holiday season, helping governments meet the demands caused by a growing community.

At Valdosta City Hall, accountants say they're also hopeful for an increase in the amount of money collected through sales tax during the holiday shopping season. That's because this city along with others in our region has had to deal with a growing amount of expenses during the past year.

Mark Barber, Valdosta Finance Director, says, "This year it's more important because, like other businesses, we've suffered with fuel cost. Normally fuel is about 39 percent of our budget. Tight now we're at 59 percent, so of course we're hoping for a good holiday season."

Local governments are also having to deal with growing health care costs, making strong holiday sales, and the resulting increase in tax revenue even more important.