Revenue falls short for YMCA

Published 7:22 pm Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Selma Mayor George Evans reported to the Selma City Council Tuesday that numbers have come in lower than expected for the sales tax revenues within the city.

Evans reported that sales tax revenues are $186,000 lower than what they were at this time last year. As part of this revenue shortage, the increased occupancy fee that will contribute to the stabilization of the YMCA of Selma was reported to have only generated $7,730.28.

The increased fee took effect for all hotels within city limits and police jurisdiction on Feb. 1 and members of the YMCA board projected the occupancy fee to generate more than $100,000 to $130,000 annually. But YMCA of Selma CEO Bill Porter said he is, “appreciative of any funds, “ that come into the YMCA to help stabilize their multimillion-dollar debt.

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“Right now its one of those things where we will have to wait and see,” Porter said. “We hope there will be more people coming to the city of Selma and visiting our town and spending money to add to our tax base. Then that in turn will help the YMCA.”

The city of Selma just finalized a contract with the YMCA of Selma in March to give 50 percent of funds from the additional occupancy fee of $2 to the YMCA to help retire their debt.

Porter said he is hopeful the occupancy levels will fluctuate from season to season.

So while numbers seemed low in February, they could increase in summer months when more travelers generally come to Selma.

“We were just guessing on everything,” Porter said about the projected occupancy fee revenue. “We don’t know how much it will make but you have to consider the time of year the Battle of Selma and summers when family reunions roll into town.”

As for the low sales tax revenue number overall, Evans is putting a freeze on hiring within the city departments with the exception of public safety departments and public works until he sees the numbers start to increase.