The Petersbug Borough Assembly approved a sales tax-free day scheduled for Saturday, October 5.
Assembly member Susan Flint said sales tax revenues are ahead of budget this year and the time period would be good for residents.
“October is a month where it’s pretty much residents living in Petersburg, or shopping in Petersburg,” Flint said. “I think it would be a better time to have it than when it was in May when we’re full of visitors.”
The Chamber of Commerce Retail Committee proposed a sales tax-free day last May but the assembly rejected it. Borough Manager Giesbrecht said the request was too short of a notice and sales tax was under budget at the time.
“We’re very happy they gave us enough notice this time to go through with it and the budget looks good,” Giesbrecht said.
This isn’t the first time Petersburg has seen a sales tax-free day. Savann Guthrie, owner of the Fabric Basket and the chairperson for the Chamber of Commerce Retail committee, helped to institute such a day—an idea that had been floating around for several years and voted on as an ordinance by the public in 2011.
“I thought it was great for my business,” Guthrie said. “I had more business on that day than I did on any of the other days.”
Cynthia Mathisen, manager of Lee’s Clothing, said her business was one of several who offered additional incentives during Petersburg’s last tax-free day.
“We would do a discount as well as tax-free so there would be certain items on sale so a lot of us capitalized on that,” Mathisen said.
This past July saw sales tax revenues soaring above $400,000—higher than any month in the past five years. Giesbrecht said that’s because of the borough formation.
“This is the first July when we’re taxing more transactions on sales outside the city limits,” Giesbrecht said.
The assembly budgeted $2,809,196 in sales tax revenue for the 2013 fiscal year and have budgeted $2,956,892 for the 2014 fiscal year.
All but one member of the assembly, John Hoag, voted for the resolution at the August 19 meeting.