Holiday sales tax revenue rises


Sales tax receipts in Encinitas were up 3.6 percent from October to December 2013 when compared with the same period in 2012, according to a quarterly sales tax report released this week.

All told, sales tax revenue during the holiday shopping season totaled $3.1 million in the city.

Of the categories in the report, food and drugs rose 15.8 percent, the most of any industry. Then came restaurants and hotels at 13.2 percent. Business and industry rounded out the top three, posting an 8.5 percent increase.

Those three categories in Encinitas outpaced growth for the same segments throughout Southern California. But the autos and transportation segment in the city gained 3.1 percent, lagging behind Southern California’s 9.9 percent increase.

As a whole, sales tax revenue was up 2.7 percent in Southern California.

Tim Nash, the city’s finance director, said Encinitas’ 3.6 percent gain is “fairly healthy.”

“You’re usually looking for sales tax revenue to grow 3 to 5 percent,” Nash said, adding that it’s a sign of consumer confidence.

Geographically, Encinitas Ranch Town Center, home to stores like Target and Barnes & Noble, brought in about $681,000 in revenue, the most of any area. Businesses on northwest El Camino Real came in second with nearly $542,000, followed by downtown Encinitas with $501,000.

The 3.6 percent figure accounted for reporting aberrations.

Sales tax receipts for the period showed a 12.1 percent increase. However, that number was inflated because receipts from the construction and building category weren’t factored into the October to December 2012 report, according to Nash.

Of the city’s general fund, about 22 percent comes from sales tax revenue. Property taxes make up 61 percent, with various revenues accounting for the remainder.

Statewide, sales tax revenue from general consumer goods at brick-and-mortar stores was up 2.3 percent, while online shopping posted a 16 percent increase. However, the city’s report doesn’t break down online versus brick-and-mortar revenue.