Covington tax revenue rises despite economic slump - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Justin Hanson

Covington tax revenue rises despite economic slump

As the price of gas has risen to nearly $4 per gallon, more and more residents of Tipton County have chosen to shop at home rather than drive into Memphis. 

Kendra Parr owns a children's store on Covington's court square.  She and other business owners have seen an increase in local shoppers despite the economic slump.

"We were braced for a little bit of a downturn and were pleasantly surprised," she said Monday. "Gas prices have kept people shopping at home rather than driving to Memphis, and we're happy about that."

Parr believes high gas prices are forcing residents to choose between spending money at home and spending it behind the wheel.

"They're still spending, they're just choosing not to drive and spend," she said.

And increased spending is leading to a bigger purse for city government.  According to City Treasurer Jere Hadley, sales tax collections in Covington are up almost seven percent from this time last year.

“The City of Covington is holding good with the new businesses, and existing businesses are doing an excellent job of giving the services and products that people in Covington and Tipton County want," he said.

Shoppers like Sarah Scott prefer shopping at home and boosting the local economy.

"I don't remember the last time I stepped into a Memphis mall," she said.

Business owners say it's frugal shoppers like Scott who will keep local economies going.

"As long as we wisely continue to watch our dollars but continue to spend, I don't think it will get worse," Parr said.

Local business owners are also offering shoppers other incentives like lay-a-ways and registries to boost sales.

Click here to send an email to Justin Hanson.

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