Unexpected boon

Published 12:13 pm Wednesday, April 9, 2008

By By Lisa Tindell and Lydia Grimes
Gas prices across the region and across country continue to climb, putting a pinch on the pocketbooks of anyone with a vehicle.
But those rising prices may have a positive effect on local municipalities.
Although Angel didn't attribute the increase in tax revenue to rising gas prices, he did say he could be part of the reason.
East Brewton is seeing a rise in that city's tax revenues as well. That increase, however, is largely due to an increase in the city sales tax put into place last October.
Singleton said East Brewton's main sales tax revenues come from Superfoods, Fred's and the Minute Stop.
March began to see steady increases in gas prices, which could further account for the change in sales tax revenues, Singleton said.
Business owners said they are seeing some changes in buying habits and frequency of store visits by local customers.
Weaver considers several factors as reasons for the boost in business.
Peggy Booker, manager at Piggy Wiggly in Brewton, said the grocery store's sales have been up.
In East Brewton, customers tend to stock up on what may be their only trip to the grocery store for a week, said Michael Scott, manager at Magnolia Superfoods.
Scott said people are concerned about the increase in prices at the grocery store and are blaming the rise on gasoline prices.
The slight increase in sales tax revenues in Brewton is good news for residents in the community, but depending on the economy, could be short-lived.
A change in our way of life could be looming just around the corner.
According to the Energy Information Administration, national gasoline prices are expected to peak at $3.624 per gallon by early June.