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CITY SALES TAX REVENUE UP 8.1 PERCENT RETAIL CAMPAIGN GETS SOME CREDIT.

Byline: Patricia Farrell Aidem Staff Writer

SANTA CLARITA - The city's share of sales tax revenue shot up 8.1 percent in the fourth quarter of 2004, amounting to $6.76 million for Santa Clarita's general fund.

The city's 1 percent share of locally generated sales tax revenue grew by $506,933 compared with the last three months of the previous year. Santa Clarita's annual budget projects total revenue from sales tax at $28.8 million.

City Treasurer Darren Hernandez attributed the gain to three factors: an improving local economy, continued growth in the retail sales tax base and the city's Shop Santa Clarita campaign.

The quarter, which included the lucrative holiday shopping season, saw a 20 percent increase in sales of new autos, the city's single-largest source of general fund income. Also boasting increased sales were apparel stores, furniture and appliance outlets, food markets and business services.

``The auto dealers are doing very well and that's because of our strong local economy,'' said Hernandez. ``Not only are residents shopping for cars in the city, people are coming from outside to buy cars.''

Sales tax revenue helps pay for additional law enforcement and parks and recreation, Hernandez said.

In the general retail category, drugstores showed a significant slump of 22 percent, or more than $40,000, for the quarter compared with the last three months of 2003. But those businesses are only a small percentage of the whole. By contrast, a big-ticket category - department stores - claimed a 2.7 percent increase, amounting to $24,279.

Also declining were the florist and nursery businesses, which fell 11.2 percent, or $3,486. Overall, however, sales tax revenue for retail sales increased 3.4 percent.

The quarter came during the city's Shop Santa Clarita campaign aimed at keeping sales tax revenue within city limits.

Patricia Farrell Aidem, (661) 257-5251

pat.aidem(at)dailynews.com

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SANTA CLARITA CITY SALES TAX REVENUE

Source: City of Santa Clarita
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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:May 10, 2005
Words:326
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