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December sales tax receipts down from a year ago

By Corene Brisendine

The city of Manhattan collected $887,230 in sales tax in December, an amount that is down 6.2 percent ($36,460) from the $923,690 collected a year ago.

Finance director Bernie Hayen noted that while sales fell compared to the previous year, they remained high compared with other recent years. “The numbers are a little disappointing compared to a year ago, but still strong historically,” Hayen said. He noted that grocery sales were up more than 13 percent compared to a year ago, terming that “a good sign locally and regionally.”

Other areas were not as strong. “Nearly every ‘big box’ store was down anywhere from 1 to 8 percent compared to… a year ago — including auto dealerships,” Hayen said.

For the first two months of 2013, sales tax revenues are down by $117,986 compared to the same period in 2012.

Hayen said he is confident sales will pick up.

Sales taxes collected in December are reported in February because of time delays associated with collecting and redistributing the revenues.

From January to May 31, the sales tax rate in Manhattan is 8.05 percent. After June 1, sales tax will be raised to include the renewal of the half-cent sales tax to last year’s rate of 8.55 percent.

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