A recent year-to-date revenue comparison compiled by municipal Finance Director Denise Town indicates that Maryville consumers are opening their purses and wallets again four years after the onset of the Great Recession.
During the six-month period from December 2011 through May 2012, sales tax collections by the city have exceeded $900,000 for the first time since prior to 2008, when the national economy spiraled into its most serious downturn since the 1930s.
As of May, the city had collected $946,985 in sales taxes, compared to $866,871 at this time last year, an increase of around 8 percent. The December-May collection total for 2010 was $829,818.
Though the current economy is hardly robust, Town said this year's total, at least so far, indicates a revenue stream comparable to the mid-2000s before the recession took hold.
Other kinds of municipal income are up as well, but for reasons that have less to do with an apparently improving local economy.
Solid waste user fee revenues, for example, climbed to $704,714 from $492,669 at this time in 2011, an increase fueled by debris left by last summer's devastating hail and wind storms. In addition, Town noted, one local waste hauling company has enlarged its territory and expanded operations.
Beyond sales tax proceeds, revenues from other levies, such as franchise and excise taxes, are basically flat, averaging slightly over $1.2 million in each of the past four years.
Mozingo Lake Park, however, is another bright spot in the city's financial picture this year. Revenues there from all sources have grown from $767,753 (December-May) in 2011 to $960,330.
Sales taxes collected on purchases at the 3,000-acre boating-fishing-golfing-camping complex have risen from $433,425 to $473,491. Golf user fees expanded from $197,178 to a four-year high of $265,478.
Other park user fees combined to show similar growth from $130,545 last year to a current year-to-date total of $188,818.
Town said that revenue from cabin rentals at the lake has rebounded after lagging over the past couple of years. She added that camping fee revenues have risen a staggering 75 percent over all previous years, and that the golf fee increase is likely related to weeks of clear, dry weather.
Unlike sales tax, another growing revenue generator for the city of Maryville is unlikely to spark much enthusiasm from citizens. Usage-based water/sewer fund revenue is up nearly a half-million dollars from this time last year due to rate increases implemented to shore up aging infrastructure and help pay for a new government-mandated, multi-million-dollar sewage treatment plant.
Water and sewer rates increased 10 and 15 percent respectively in 2009, and both rates were raised another 20 percent in October of last year.
December-May water/sewer revenue totals from 2009 through 2012 are: $1.85 million, $2.11 million, $2.14 million and $2.60 million.