LAMPASAS — City officials recently reported a substantial upswing in sales tax proceeds from their November report.
Although they said it’s difficult to pinpoint a specific factor resulting in the increase, it’s a trend Lampasas hopes will continue.
Last month, the city received $125,706 in sales tax compared to $106,993 recorded for November 2012.
The monthly total represents a 17.5 percent increase above last year and the eighth highest month during the last 10 years.
The November receipts represent sales received in September, according to a report presented to the city council last week by City Manager Finley deGraffenried.
“We’re encouraged by the trend, overall, although I can’t put my finger directly on one specific factor,” he said. “I tried to take a look back and look at some things, such as the work that was done on Key Avenue, and it’s hard to put two and two together.”
Despite slow sales for Key Avenue businesses during the construction project that ended in October 2012, the end result is beginning to benefit retailers through a rebound effect.
Roland Schaub, owner of the Ace Hardware Lampasas Builder’s Mart at 507 North Key Ave., said the 22-month construction phase put a huge dent in his sales, as well as that of his fellow business owners along Key Avenue.
“I knew the highway construction would have a huge impact, even with our average of 29,000 cars per day, but I never knew how much impact that construction would have,” he said. “You realize very quickly, when the orange cones and equipment come out, that it will have an impact.”
Schaub said it was difficult to hang on financially, but he never gave up hope for a future payoff.
“I’m always a glass half full kind of guy,” Schaub said. “Sales are going to be great, and I think all the businesses have experienced big spikes. I know this year we are close to 30 percent above sales compared to this time last year.”
The increase in new business openings and the completion of multi-phase improvement projects are revitalizing the business atmosphere, deGraffenried said.
“I think there’s a positive climate and attitude that we’re seeing here, and I’ve also confirmed we have some upbeat retailers,” he said.