Income tax revenue is best since high-water mark in 2008

Income tax revenue through the first 10 months is the most collected to this point in the past five years and should mean the city will eclipse the $2 million mark by the end of the year.

Mayor Rodney Metz, who released the city’s income tax report including October revenue numbers during Monday’s Wapakoneta City Council meeting, said he is refraining from voicing too much optimism until the final year-end numbers are compiled.

“I think the news is great to this point and it is definitely a positive for the city,” Metz said. “These numbers indicate the economy is going in the right direction and it shows that everybody around us — economic development directors, business executives and county and state elected officials — is doing the necessary and correct things to help the economy thrive.

“Before we get too far ahead of ourselves, we still need to see how these numbers turn out at the end of the year because we may have to make adjustments because of income tax credits and paybacks because of people who have paid income tax but have not really worked in the community,” the mayor said after the meeting.

In the report released by Metz, October income tax revenue showed receipts climbed to $235,393, an increase of more than $115,000 from $118,057 collected in September and an increase of more than $80,000 from $171,532 collected in October 2011.

For the year, the city has collected $1.925 million through the first 10 months, the most collected since $1.966 million was collected through the first 10 months in 2008.

After the first 10 months in 2011, the city collected $1.801 million.

The city has eclipsed the $2 million mark in income tax revenue eight times, including the last seven years.

In 2007, the city collected $2.29 million for the most in any one year, followed by $2.27 million in 2008. In 2011, the city collected $2.109 million, a slight decrease from the $2.119 million in 2010 but an increase from the $2.065 million in 2009.

The first time the city reached the $2 million mark was in 2000.

Safety-Service Director Bill Rains and Metz said they cannot translate these numbers into employment levels at local businesses. They explained they do not have access to employment numbers to determine if businesses are hiring and cannot get any more specific income tax information from the city’s Income Tax Office due to state law.

The best they can do is estimate the number of employees and how the business atmosphere is or they talk directly with business executives who are fairly guarded about such numbers because of the highly competitive markets they are working in now.

“The only way we can find out what is happening is driving around the city on Friday and Saturday afternoon or at night and checking their parking lot to determine if they have people working second and third shifts,” Rains said. “We simply do the drive-by test.”