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Sales tax collections stimulated in Lawrence

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When it comes to spending that stimulus check from the federal government, a new set of numbers suggests Lawrence has been doing its part. The latest sales tax report shows that Lawrence collected nearly 6 percent more in sales taxes during the mid-May to mid-June period than it did a year ago. City Hall's financial leaders speculated that the increase could be attributed to people spending the stimulus checks that the federal government sent out to revive the struggling economy. But the even better news for people concerned about a tight city budget is that the numbers continue to be up for the full year. Through the July reporting period, the sales tax collections are up 4.3 percent, or $315,000, compared to the same period a year ago.The news likely will come too-little, too-late to stave off any proposed cuts as part of the 2009 budget, but the numbers should help the city's bank account nonetheless. If sales tax numbers continue to grow at their current pace, the city will receive about $535,000 more in sales tax collections than they did in 2007. The numbers, though, are still far from a sure sign of an economic turnaround. City Hall leaders likely would feel more comfortable if the sales tax increases weren't so sporadic. Thus far, through seven months, the city has yet to experience two consecutive months of sales tax increases. For those of you who want to dive deeper into the numbers, [click here][1] for several years worth of data. [1]: http://www.lawrenceks.org/web_based_agendas/2008/08-05-08/08-05-08h/cm_report_sales_tax_distributions.html

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