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Sales tax revenue, real estate sales down from last year
By Meredith M. Griffith
Islands’ Sounder reporter
After looking at 2011 San Juan County sales tax revenue as well as real estate sales, the results are down slightly from 2010.
Sales tax numbers
Total county sales tax revenue for 2011 will be 2.7 percent lower than it was in 2010. County sales tax revenue, which includes criminal justice, juvenile justice, lodging tax, mental health tax, and rural sales and use tax, totaled $5,087,083 in 2010 and will total roughly $4,950,000 in 2011.Local option, sales tax revenue, which makes up the largest part of county sales tax, was $2,900,904 in 2010. For 2011, that figure is $2,808,050, or 3.2 percent less.
“We have projected a modest increase for next year; I am concerned that we may not achieve even that, based on economic projections,” said County Auditor Milene Henley.
She said data in the Northwest Washington Labor Market Review notes that most economic projections are calling for a slowdown in recovery over the next year. Lodging tax numbers are up county-wide from last year. In 2010, the total was $766,462.
In 2011, it is $766,858. The Town of Friday Harbor is calculated separately. Those numbers are 2010: $95,000; 2011: $100,000.San Juan Islands Visitors Bureau public relations manager Robin Jacobson said lodging tax numbers have been rising consistently, even throughout the recession.
“People are coming and they’re spending money on lodging,” said Jacobson. “Some are not spending as much on purchases; they’re putting their dollars into the experience ... They’re going out whale-watching; they’re going out kayaking, but are they buying as many souvenirs? We don’t think so.”