Sales tax collections increase in Calcasieu Parish

(Source: MGN Online)
(Source: MGN Online)

CALCASIEU PARISH, LA (KPLC) - There's plenty of good news from Wall Street lately as the major markets hit record highs.

Some said it's a sign that the economy is finally back on track after the 2008 banking crisis.

In Calcasieu parish, one of the best barometer's of the local economy is the sales tax numbers collected by the Calcasieu Parish School Board.

Director of Sales Tax for Calcasieu Parish School Board John Collins said the school board collected about $4.6 billion dollars in sales tax, which is up 1.8% from 2012.

"We have substantial increases in things like food, apparel, furniture, and building materials," said Collins.

Collins said the economy needs business, housing, and job growth to increase. He said that's happening in Calcasieu Parish gradually.

"We're not seeing what might be viewed as a really accelerated community, but we are seeing growth," said Collins.

But is the rise enough to help the estimated $10 million Calcasieu Parish School Board budget shortfall?

"I think that while we are moving in a positive direction and collecting additional revenues, I think the rate of collection is probably not going to overtake a deficit of that size," said Collins.

And while the upcoming economic expansion did not play a part in this year's increase, Collins said there's an opportunity for even more encouraging growth when it does arrive.

"It just needs to happen naturally," said Collins. "I think it is going to happen gradually and signs show we are headed for the eventual boom."

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