Local Cities See Rise In Sales Tax Revenue

Numbers Obtained By 10News Show Consumers Spending Again

New numbers obtained by 10News revealed an encouraging trend when it comes to revenues that fund the strapped budgets of San Diego County cities.

A month ago, Andy Mitchell bought a new Ford Fiesta from Perry Ford in National City.

"I had a little extra money for a down payment," said Mitchell.

Mitchell isn't the only one, according to San Diego State University taxation professor Steven Gill.

"Consumers are going out and spending again," Gill said.

More spending by consumers means more sales tax revenues for cities.

According to the latest numbers, sales tax revenues across the county in the final months of 2010 climbed nearly 7 percent from the year before.

Ringing up the biggest jumps are 15 percent for Del Mar, 16 percent for National City and 29 percent for Carlsbad.

Experts say the increase stems mainly from higher gas prices, which count toward tax revenues, and a spike in car sales.

Local tax officials 10News spoke to said they've seen more growth this calendar year.

Weldon Donaldson, who heads the Mile of Cars Association in National City, said, "Last week was the best week for the Mile since 2007. Right now we are on a roll."

It's an encouraging sign that bodes well for the local and the state economy. On the state level, better-than-projected revenues just added $2 billion to the coffers. Local cities could also be in for some welcome news in their budget outlooks.

"I think 'less bleak' is a good description. That's what we can expect from next round of budgeting," said Gill.

Less bleak could mean more services, from libraries to police and fire.

To see a report on sales tax revenues by county, visit hdlcompanies.com/streports/index.cfm.

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