Sales tax revenues meet projections

Despite slow economy, revenues remain on target

Posted: Friday, September 12, 2008

Despite a downturn in the nation's economy, city sales tax revenues for the first six months of the year didn't decline.

"We're still on track," said city Finance Director Craig Duncan.

City budgeters projected in March that the city would make $40.7 million from sales tax in the fiscal year ending June 30, and that's what happened.

Revenues from the 5 percent sales tax, along with hotel and tobacco, account for about 15 percent of the city's $257 million revised 2008 budget. User fees and permits, property tax and state funds contribute most of the rest.

The city now collects about the same amount in sales tax per resident as it did 10 years ago.

"There are all kinds of things that affect the sales tax, and it makes it very iffy" to predict, said Duncan.

One positive influence on the revenue source: inflation, which tends to increase costs. A bit more cruise ship traffic may have contributed this year, Duncan said. And new box stores brought new revenue in the last year, both from Juneau residents and those in other Southeast communities who came here to shop.

On the down side, weather matters. A dank summer makes people less likely to deboard cruise ships or leave their houses to spend money, Duncan said.

• Contact reporter Kate Golden at 523-2276 or kate.golden@juneauempire.com.



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