Monthly sales tax revenues up for first time this year in April

By Corene Brisendine

Manhattan sales tax revenues edged upward for the first time in 2013 during April.

Sales tax revenues were $779,560 for that month, about $2,100 more than was collected during the same month in 2012. Finance director Bernie Hayen said grocery and car sales were the driving factors for the increase.

“As in the past three months, local retailers were both up and down,” Hayen said. “Grocery sales remained strong as did automobile sales for this reporting period.  However, ‘big box stores’ and mall retailers were mixed in terms of their retail sales.”

Due to a two-month time lag between when purchases are made and when sales tax receipts are received by the city, April revenues actually represent purchases made during February.

The April upturn represented the first increase since November 2012. Sales activity had been down about 8.5 percent during January, about 6.2 percent during February and about two percent during March.

As for the budget process, the sales tax revenues have for the first time this year exceeded what the city budgeted by $3,155, but still did not meet predicted numbers. The city budgeted for $715,368 after taking out sales tax revenues for the TIF bonds, which was $61,037.

Predicted sales tax revenues were $736,829, which was $18,306 more than what was collected. That leaves the city $98,919 below budget for the first four months of 2013, and sales tax revenues are down by 3.7 percent compared to last year.

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