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LJWorld.com weblogs Town Talk

Sales tax numbers coming down to the wire

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Maybe it is like a kid getting too excited too early about what will be under the Christmas tree.But, with just two months left, Lawrence city government is still in line to receive an end-of-the-year gift from sales tax collections.[Through October,][1] the city remains on pace to collect more in sales tax revenue than in it did in 2007, and, more importantly, more than it budgeted for in 2008.Specifically, the first 10 months of the year have produced $17.7 million in sales tax collections for the city. That's up 3.4 percent from the same period a year ago. If the city remains on that pace, it will collect about $21.1 million in 2008. That's about $700,000 more than it budgeted to collect for the year.In other words, a windfall in an otherwise windless economy.But, as city leaders have been saying all year, they won't believe it for sure until they actually see the check.The October numbers - which are from sales made from mid-August to mid-September - do show some signs of cracking. The city collected about $240,000 less in October 2008 than it did in October 2007. That represented a significant drop of 11.5 percent. It also ended a three month streak of increasing collections. One-month drops aren't unusual, but given the national economic news, the sales tax checks the city receives in November and December also may be off significantly from a year ago. Those final two disbursements will represent sales made from late September through mid-November.Already, on a national level, retailers have reported October sales were one of the worst on record. [1]: http://www.lawrenceks.org/web_based_agendas/2008/11-04-08/11-04-08h/cm_report_sales_tax_distribution.html

Comments

matchbox81 5 years, 9 months ago

skinny (Anonymous) says:"What stuff I can't get on the internet I'll be getting in Topeka or Kansas City."----Yeah, because it's not like Kansas City or Topeka have pet projects that are funded by sales tax....

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skinny 5 years, 9 months ago

After this city passed all three sales tax increases I'll be buying all my stuff on the internet. What stuff I can't get on the internet I'll be getting in Topeka or Kansas City. This town is not getting any more of my money than it already does!!Lawrence has the highest tax rate per capita in the state!! Crazy!

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PapaB 5 years, 9 months ago

As soon as April rolls around, watch big-ticket item sales fall hard once the sales tax goes up.

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gccs14r 5 years, 9 months ago

My guess is that collections went up because $4/gal gasoline made shopping locally more economical. Now that everyone has quit spending, expect collections to go down the toilet.

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