Of the 13-county West Central Region, Pettis County had the strongest taxable sales revenue for 2015, indicating it is a strong retail and job center for the area.
According to information from the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center (MERIC), taxable sales revenue in Pettis County totaled $630,213,131 in 2015, which is “significantly” higher than than the second and third highest county revenues.
The county coming nearest to Pettis County with total revenue is Johnson County at $459,153,976. The third highest is Henry County at $253,161,196 and the fourth highest is Saline County at $229,363,887.
“(That figure) points out and further confirms that Sedalia and Pettis County are a regional shopping center for a multi-county area,” Sedalia City Administrator Gary Edwards said. “Very successfully so — in fact, other no other county comes close to us as far as the taxable sales total revenue. This confirms that people come here to shop and spend their dollars and further confirms people who are here don’t leave as they do in other counties to shop elsewhere. There is very little retail leakage.
“It’s not just a small amount that we are above the nearest county, being Johnson County — we are significantly above Johnson County,” he added. “That continues to point out that as we continue get stores, and we anticipate more are coming, that only enhances our position as a shopping center for this multi-county area.”
Edwards said the 2015 revenue for Pettis County is higher than previous years. According to the Missouri Department of Economic Development, the 2014 taxable sales for Pettis County was $621,302,354.
The West Central Region includes 13 counties — Bates, Benton, Carroll, Cedar, Chariton, Henry, Hickory, Johnson, Lafayette, Pettis, Saline, St. Clair and Vernon — and three major lakes, Truman, Stockton and Pomme de Terre, as well as Whiteman Air Force Base.
MERIC also released unemployment figures, with Pettis County showing an unemployment rate of 4.3 percent. While it is not the lowest in the West Central Region — the highest is St. Clair County at 5.7 percent and the lowest is Chariton County at 3.9 percent — it is the “lowest rate in many years,” according to a City of Sedalia news release.
“In talking with Linda (Christle, executive director at Economic Development Sedalia-Pettis County), she cannot remember when it’s been that low. That’s a very low figure for Sedalia/Pettis County,” Edwards said. “It’s not the lowest in the area, but it is the lowest in our memory here in Sedalia/Pettis County.
“That also is a good thing, that means jobs are here and that translates to the sales numbers,” he added. “That’s another reason they’re high because of low unemployment — people have jobs and are buying things and adding to those sales numbers.”
The increase in sales tax revenue seems to be continuing. Edwards said the city received the June sales tax figures Tuesday, which are up 4.1 percent for the month. Fiscal year-to-date, the city’s sales tax is up 3.5 percent. For Fiscal Year 2015-16, the city budgeted a 4 percent increase and actual revenue exceeded that projection. This year the city budgeted a 1 percent increase, and all signs point to another exceeded projection.
Nicole Cooke can be reached at 660-530-0138 or @NicoleRCooke.