The search for oil in Pratt and surrounding counties has helped produce a beneficial jump in the city sales tax receipts for 2012.
So far, city sales tax revenues are up by $170,192 over the same period in 2011. If this trend holds steady, sales tax revenues for 2012 could top over $2 million, a new record for the city, said Diana Garten, Pratt director of finance.
The previous records were just under $2 million in 2008 and $1.8 million in 2011.
Much of the increase is related to the oil industry related activity with the county and other counties.
Many of the people checking courthouse records for ownership and the companies that use the information to drill for oil both in Pratt and Barber Counties are staying in Pratt hotels and motels.
"We have a lot of people staying in town," Garten said.
While they are here they eat at local restaurants, buy gas, take in shopping and go to the movies. This all helps boost the sales tax for the city.
The county also had workers during three major paving projects on west U.S. 54, north U.S. 281 and K-61 highway.
All of these help boost the economy and increase sales tax although most of the sales tax in Pratt comes from retail stores.
The current sales tax in Pratt is 8.05 percent. Pratt gets 0.75 percent of that in sales tax. Of that amount, a half-cent of the sales tax goes into general funds for general operations such as parks, recreation, safety and other projects.
A quarter-cent is dedicated to city street maintenance for curb and gutter projects, chip seal, general maintenance and improvements, Garten said.
"We do a little bit year," Garten said.
Businesses send their sales tax to Topeka where it is divided among the state entities.
Besides sales tax, the city gets revenue from utilities, electric, water, sanitation; property tax, gas tax; alcohol tax; fees from permits, court fees, airport fees, a little sales tax from Pratt Community and other various resources.
For the near future, the sales tax is expected to continue its upward trend.
With an upcoming new hotel, a new Arron's (rent-to-own), the new Hibbett sports store, addition to Pratt Regional Medical Center, construction on an additional four miles of four lane highway on U.S. 54, possible wind farm construction and other projects plus the continued growth in the oil industry, sales tax should provide additional revenue to the city.
"The economy is doing well here in Pratt," Garten said.
That extra revenue can be used for projects that require workers that spend money and that in turn produces more sales tax.
For now, the city is riding a wave of good financial news that should continue into the foreseeable future. As long as growth continues in the county, it will produce good sales tax revenues.