After six months of increased Occupational Tax collections, January’s totals slipped significantly below expectations for the first time this fiscal year.
The McCreary County Judge Executive’s Office released the OC Tax collections totals for December and January last week, and while the numbers for December continued the upward trend, January’s figures were disappointing.
Collections for December marked the sixth consecutive time this fiscal year that the amount added to the General Fund exceeded totals from the same month in previous years.
December 2015 brought $22,742.40 in collections, over $8,000 more than December 2014, and more than $17,000 ahead of December 2013.
But, January 2016’s collections were, by far, the lowest for that month over the past four years where individual month’s totals were released instead of quarterly totals.
Only $79,637.81 in receipts were logged, as compared to more than $138,000 last year, over $135,000 in 2014 and $197,000 in 2013.
The one-month drop could be attributed to poor weather affecting local sales and job slow downs as the winter storm forced many businesses to close for several days in January.
It could also signal a slow-down in collections from overdue accounts, which had bolstered collections since the OC Tax Office and County Attorney’s Office began working to reconcile with many federal employees who had neglected to pay their tax.
If the latter is the case, collections going forward could suffer as well, significantly impacting County revenue.
The Fiscal Court has asked County Attorney Conley Chaney to begin looking at prosecuting past due account holders after an amnesty was offered that several accounts did not take advantage of.
Through the first seven months of the fiscal year more than $585,000 has been collected, more than $65,000 ahead of last year’s pace.
January’s less-than stellar collection dropped the average monthly collection to just over $83,000. If that average holds consistent, the County is on pace to bring in approximately $1.003 million – only $3,000 more than budgeted.
Historically, February and April have been strong months for OC Tax collections, brining in over $400,000 last year, and $260,000 in 2014.