Sales taxes for Webster Parish appear to be somewhat level compared to last year.

In the months January through April, $9,514,738 was collected in sales tax for 2017. Compared to 2016, $9,525,978 was collected for the same months.

Dr. Scott Loren, a professor emeritus in economics at LSU in Baton Rouge, said the northwest Louisiana region is still suffering from a slow-moving economy, which means a possible downturn in sales taxes.

“The heartbeat for your area is what’s going on with employment,” he said. “Employment has been in a downswing for a while. The Shreveport area is well below where it was in 2008, about 11,000 jobs below that peak in 2008. If you don’t have people working, you don’t have people making money, and if people aren’t making money, they aren’t spending it, and you’re not getting those sales tax receipts.”

In Webster Parish, the Sales and Use Tax Commission released reports from January through April showing February had an increase by 3.4 percent at $2 million as compared to 2016 at $1.9 million, and in March, showing a 7.46 percent increase at $2.27 million as compared to 2016 at $2.1 million.

January and April both showed decreases, January by 7 percent with $2.5 million this year and 2016 at $2.7 million and April by 1.16 percent with $2.65 million as compared to 2016 with $2.69 million.

Total sales taxes in all four months are hovering around the $2 million mark, with April being the highest intake at $2.5 million.