The city of Montgomery made approximately $3 million from sales tax in 2019, according to a report at the Jan. 28 City Council meeting.
Montgomery City Council heard from Sales Revenue Inc., a private entity that analyzes sales and use taxes for governmental bodies. SRI representative Ryan Fortner said the $3.17 million in taxes came from an average of 1,842 taxpayers each month, with the highest reporting being Kroger and H-E-B.
“We see that everywhere,” Fortner said. “Any place that has several grocery stores, especially the large nature, they tend to be in the highest category.”
Fortner said in November, the city had 2,229 entities file for sales tax, the highest the city has ever had. But he said this number will be surpassed in the coming year.
“We’re seeing that with our large clients,” Fortner said. “And it’s all generated by e-commerce.”
When looking at a 12-month period, Fortner said 96% of the city’s sales taxes came from entities out of the city limits or state boundaries. He said of the 2,229 businesses that filed in November, only 65 were located in the city limits.
“As we become a more convenience-based society, that is going to continue to grow,” Fortner said.
New business and water returns
Council also heard updates on two businesses coming to the Montgomery area and heard other departmental reports.
Council members voted on variance requests from a developer looking to build a three-story office building near Heritage Place and Heritage II at 21325 Eva St., Montgomery. Council will host a public hearing on a variance to allow the building to be only 25 feet from the road, as opposed to the required 35 feet. The Montgomery Planning and Zoning Committee and the city engineer will also review a request for a vegetative setback and report back to council.
City Engineer Chris Roznovsky presented an economic feasibility study on Moon Over Montgomery, a short-term rental business north of Clepper Drive and east of Liberty Street. Rovnosky said when the business is completed, the business will be worth $1.5 million and produce approximately $5,700 in taxes annually.
Although the city has the capacity for the additional water and sewer services needed for the project, Rovnovsky said the city must still look to expand its services in the future.
“Based on the timeline we have with development, you have time to kind of put your plan together,” Rovnovsky said.
After recovering from a prolonged leak, the city saw water accountability increase to 100% and 98% in the last two months of 2019, according to Michael Williams, the vice president of operations for Gulf Utility Service, the city’s water provider. The city previously saw accountability—or how much of the water the city provided has been paid and accounted for—as low as 71%.
Now that the leak has been dealt with, Council Member John Bickford asked Williams and Public Works Director Mike Muckleroy to look into how much rainwater is going into the city’s wastewater treatment center.