County sees signs of economic recovery

By Dean Shipley

November 26, 2013

Sales tax revenue continues to climb and bolster the local economy, it was reported to commissioners on Monday, Nov. 25. Madison County Auditor Jennifer Hunter reported the monthly total of sale tax collections for September 2013 totaled $503,352. For the same month last year, Madison County collected $448,138 and in 2011, September collection of sales tax tallied $374,220. (See chart for entire collections for 2011, 2012 and to date 2013).

“We’re trending ahead of the last couple of years,” Hunter told commissioners.

It is an indication the economy is slowly improving even though the unemployment figures “don’t tell us that,” said commissioner Paul Gross.

Two newer businesses were mentioned, TSC and Tom Raper RV sales, as positive indicators of economic growth. Gross said a number of Madison County residents are buying units from the latter.

“It’s a great indicator of what new and expanding businesses can do for you,” he said.

Gross also cited the new Dollar General in Plain City as an important contributor to retail growth.

Commissioner David Dhume said the upward trend allows the commission to invest in projects at the fairgrounds, the CIC and the chamber of commerce.

“The economy is improving and we can move forward with investments within our community,” Dhume said.

In her own office, Hunter said some changes are coming. In her forthcoming budget she said she has “bumped up” the amount which will be spent on furniture replacement.

“It’s falling apart,” she said.

She said some changes are also coming in the placement of the counter, which will be moved to provide more office space.

She said changes will be funded through funds from real estate assessment, not the general fund Hunter said.

She is also planning to hire either a part-time person or someone on a contract labor agreement to help with preparations of financial statements.

Commissioner Gross asked about the status of the real estate evaluation appeal filed by K-mart. Hunter said she would look into it.

He said the closing of K-mart will diminish sale tax revenue. He hopes someone will re-install a retail business on the site after K-mart closes early next year.