An August record $880,233 in sales tax receipts boosted the city’s collections for 2012 to 9.4 percent above last year, although the city’s finance director cautioned Friday that sales activity was more spotty than the strong number suggested.
The $880,233 total, which represents purchases made during June, was nearly $90,000 more than for the same month in 2011. That represented the 10th consecutive month, dating back to last November, in which receipts exceeded the total for the previous year.
For the first eight months of 2012, the city has received $7.066 million in sales tax receipts, putting it on pace to finish the year close to $11 million. The city has never collected as much as $10 million in sales tax.
Even so, Hayen advised caution in assessing the figures, which he characterized as a “mixed bag” for several of the larger big box retailers. “Not surprisingly, overall grocery sales were up more 12 percent, most likely reflecting the opening of the new Dillon’s west store,” he said. At the same time, the oppressive summer heat appeared to carve in to sales at other outlets. Hayen said stores dealing in home goods, lumber and similar products were down. “Auto dealerships as a whole were also down for this reporting period,” he said.