Business News

City retail sales has been down this year. It’s down about eight percent for the first eleven months of the year.

The city’s sales tax revenue for 2008 ended the year about 8.1 percent below 2007. Each month the state sends to the city a portion of sales and use tax revenue that is collected in the city the previous month.

Because the city’s monthly tax revenue reflects the previous month’s sales, December’s sales tax figures won’t be available for another month.

At least one retailer, Heather Miller, owner of Read Me a Story, says her December sales was down about nine percent from a year earlier, but her business ended the year about six percent ahead of last year.

Data from the state Department of Revenue shows that Anacortes received about $3.3 million in 2008, compared with $3.6 million in 2007, a decrease of about 8.1 percent, and just slightly below what the city received in 2006.

Year   City Sales Tax Revenue
2008 - $3,313,624.95
2007 - $3,614,138.99
2006 - $3,326,742.69

The actual revenue is only about $43,000 less than anticipated, however. The 2008 city budget anticipated $3,359,391 in sales and use tax revenue. The 2009 city budget forecasts even less sales and use tax revenue - $2,856,831, about a half-million less than 2008.