Sales tax revenues here rose 12.5% during the first three months of this year, compared to the first quarter of 1994, city officials announced Monday.
“We attribute that to Santa Clarita’s consistent strong retail base,” said Steve Stark, director of administrative services.
The increase in revenues, which amounts to $317,000 for the city, points to a growing local economy, Stark said, and is markedly higher than the 3.3% increase that Los Angeles County experienced during the same period.
Incoming revenues have historically been either stable or increased since Santa Clarita incorporated in 1987, he said.
“We’re pleased that over the past few years, we’ve been able to add some strong business like the mall [Valencia Town Center], Price Club and Home Depot,” Stark said. Such businesses have brought services and retail products that Santa Clarita’s residents used to have to leave the city to purchase. “The citizens are now able to shop locally,” he said.
Although many new businesses, such as the Barnes & Noble bookstore, have opened recently, these new retail stores do not account for the revenue increase, Stark said.
“It takes six months for a brand-new business to start bringing sales tax into the city,” Stark said. “This increase is mostly from our established base of retail businesses.”
Among those are car dealerships, which account for a good chunk of the increase.
“I don’t think there’s been a new dealership [in years],” Stark said. “It’s just the change in the economy,” explaining that more people are buying cars now that the recession seems to be easing off, at least locally.