A North Central Kansas community is reporting some good economic news, an unexpected sizeable increase in sales tax revenue.
The Clay Center City Council Tuesday evening learned that sales collected for Clay Center in June was up over 45% from a year ago. Prior to June, the city’s sales tax collections were down slightly for the calendar year but with the collections for June the City’s sales tax was up 3% for the 2020 calendar year.
According to the City, sales tax collections are purposely not given much detail in order to protect confidential business information. The Clay Center City Council had been mildly optimistic during budgeting time because sales tax collections during the restrictive times of Covid were fairly consistent from the year before but the June collections, “were extremely impressive” according to Mayor James Thatcher.
When asked if he had an explanation for the strong economy, Thatcher said, “I think many consumers felt comfortable shopping in smaller communities, there is strong new construction and remodeling going on, our restaurants reopened fairly quickly, local people made a real effort to buy takeout from the restaurants if they couldn’t dine in, and we didn’t have a large travel industry ”. Mayor Thatcher went on to say, “People have made strong efforts to meet reasonable guidelines to social distance, but our public health officials have made strong efforts to keep the town, businesses, and schools open.”
Clay Center is a town of about 4400 people located in North Central Kansas, about 35 miles northwest of Manhattan, Kansas.