Donaldsonville sales tax collections remain steady through pandemic

Michael Tortorich

Through recent months, City of Donaldsonville officials have received positive reports concerning monthly sales tax collections, quelling fears of a downturn in economic activity in the area.

The Donaldsonville City Council returned to holding meetings at City Hall Sept. 22 after holding all but one meeting virtually during the coronavirus pandemic. Council members shown, from left, are: Brent Landry, Reginald Francis, Lauthaught Delaney, and Charles Brown. Chair Raymond Aucoin was absent.

During the Sept. 22 Donaldsonville City Council meeting, Finance Director Sandra Cost Williams said the July total represented a $63,000 increase over last year’s total that month. 

The Ascension Parish Sales and Use Tax Authority conducted a parishwide audit, which brought a gain of $49,000, Williams added.

According to the July figures, the city’s collections were up in the retail, business to business, and motor vehicle categories.

Williams was optimistic about the trends in sales as the first monthly report of the fiscal year was made.

“We’ll be OK in sales tax. People are shopping in town more than they have before,” Williams said. “We anticipate having a good year.”

In other matters during the meeting:

-- After months of conducting meetings online, the council returned to in-person meetings at City Hall. 

Co-Chair Lauthaught Delaney filled in for Chair Raymond Aucoin, who was absent.

Everyone involved wore masks and maintained distancing. Additionally, protective dividers have been installed inside the City Hall chambers. A temperature check was conducted upon entering.

-- The council voted 4-0 in passing a resolution to request a Department of Environmental Quality loan application. 

According to Glenn Shaheen of GSA Consulting Engineers, if approved, the city would not have to necessarily move forward with the $2.6 million loan.

Shaheen told council members that work has entered phase three of the sewer system improvement program.

The council will hold its next regular meeting Oct. 13.