CLINTON — “We took a hit; it finally caught up with us.” That was a comment from commissioner Tom Edmunds on Monday as he announced the post-Walmart August sales tax figures.
Regular sales tax collected by the city in August dropped from August 2017 numbers by $9,946. Non-home rule sales tax was down $3,088. The result was a total drop from the previous year of $13,034.
Sales tax revenue was up about $2,000 in July, but that was mostly due to the Walmart closure. Edmunds said in November the city would know the revenue results post-Walmart closure once the August totals were known.
“Of course, Walmart had big sales, a pretty good percentage off getting rid of their inventory,” Edmunds said during the November council meeting. “Both types of our sales tax actually had an increase of slightly less than $2,000.”
Walmart announced in June that its Clinton store would close at the end of July after more than 30 years in business. The move was part of Walmart’s elimination of its smallest stores around the country.
Clinton Walmart 487, was the smallest Walmart in Illinois.
The city council approved its annual levy on Monday. Members passed the $1,886,602 levy on a total equalized assessed valuation (EAV) of approximately $69 million.
Total EAV reflected about a 3 percent increase over the previous year, reported city treasurer Clint Lichtenwalter. The approved levy reflects a 4.2 percent increase over the previous year.
Lichtenwalter said, however, factoring in the increase in total EAV results in just a 0.79 percent increase in the tax rate. He said most of the increase was due to police and fire pension funds changing actuaries.
Lichtenwalter said the former actuaries used by those funds came under scrutiny for employing improper assumptions in their forecast calculations. The same actuary was used by a number of municipalities.