Thu, April 02

December sales tax up in most of Verde Valley
Cottonwood only community down from last year

VERDE VALLEY - Clarkdale saw a good jump in its year-to-date total sales tax revenue from $353,986 at the end of December in 2010 to $416,002 in 2011. Retail sales tax went up to $3,216 for Dec. 2011 from $2,941 in 2010. Total sales tax from all categories climbed to $73,732 from $62,579 for December compared to a year ago.

One interesting category for Clarkdale was construction. That category jumped from $11,220 for Dec. 2010 to $22,574 for Dec. 2011. The year-to-date construction category climbed from $51,644 through Dec. 2010 to $84,836 for the same period in 2011.

Kathy Bainbridge, town clerk and finance director, explained to the Town Council during the Jan. 24 council meeting why construction sales tax revenue is improved over 2010.

Two construction projects - the Broadway waterline project and the Mountain Gate chip-sealing project - have been completed. Three other construction projects are in progress, including the Yavapai County Flood Grant projects; the SR 89A sidewalk project; and the wastewater treatment plant project.

Bainbridge said the town is just now getting bids for the Clarkdale Parkway project.

Two more construction projects, the Broadway and Main Roundabout and a project funded through a Community Development Block Grant will both bring in additional sales tax revenue.

Camp Verde saw a drop in its year-to-date sales tax collections in all categories from $870,750 through Dec. 2010 to $833,936 for the same period in 2011.

The good news for Camp Verde, however, is that its retail sales tax category went up from $54,977 for Dec. 2010 to $57,523 in Dec. 2011. Also showing an increase was the total for all sales tax categories through December, which went up from $138,474 last year to $141,648 this year.

Mike Showers, finance director for Camp Verde, said he feels like the town is just maintaining when it comes to sales tax revenues. "We are where we expect to be," he said, "not where we want to be."

He said December sales tax revenue was right on with what had been budgeted. "It's what we were expecting," he said.

Showers explained that if the town can hit budget with revenue, especially the important ones like sales tax, it means the town can effectively run off its budget as far as expenses are concerned.

"If your running below budget, it makes you nervous," he said.

He said the town does have a few sales tax categories, such as real estate and leasing, and restaurant and bar that seem to be showing improvement.

Jerome showed an increase in its year-to-date figures for all sales tax categories through December from $304,925 last year to $324,914 this year.

Retail sales tax revenue in Jerome dropped to $18,818 for December from $20,937 for the same month last year. Total sales tax in all categories for December took a nice increase from $45,471 last year to $50,399 this year.

Cottonwood is the only Verde Valley community down compared with last year for its December sales tax revenue. Even so, Cottonwood showed an increase in its year-to-date total sales tax collections through December.

Cottonwood climbed slightly from last year's $5,080,141 in December's year-to-date sales tax collections to $5,087,953 for this year. The town dropped in retail sales tax from $589,679 in December 2010 to $561,804 for the same month in 2011. Total sales tax revenue for December also dropped from $854,196 last year to $840,577 in 2011.

Monthly sales tax reports are provided by the Office of Economic Research and Analysis of the Arizona Department of Revenue.

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