City benefits from sales tax rebound

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EAT AND SHOP LOCAL—Toppers Pizza is one of the top 25 sales tax revenue earners in Camarillo. RICHARD GILLARD/Acorn Journals

What do retailers Camarillo Home Depot, Toppers Pizza, Nike Factory Store and Tesla Motors have in common?

They are among the top 25 generators of sales tax revenue that pay for municipal services that residents rely on.

City officials said the improving economy could push sales tax revenue to record highs, which are expected to reach $16 million for the 2021-22 fiscal year ending in June.

In fiscal 2019-20, which was negatively impacted by the COVID-19 lockdowns, sales tax revenue fell to $13.3 million from $14.7 million last year. year before the start of the pandemic.

The city council’s economic development and land use planning committee heard a report on the latest sales tax figures at a meeting on March 16.

Chief Financial Officer Mark Uribe told the Camarillo Acorn after the meeting that the numbers indicate that consumers are in the mood to shop.

“What the trends show is, in general, a strong economic recovery,” he said.

Restaurants hard hit by the pandemic are among the businesses showing strong sales growth. Gasoline sales are also on the rise as more people decide it is safe to travel.

Uribe said the Camarillo Premium Outlets generate about 40% of the city’s sales tax revenue. Mall stores included in the city’s top 25 sales tax producers include outlets selling goods from Ralph Lauren, Calvin Klein and Michael Kors.

“Historically, the mall has been a huge success for the city in terms of generating sales tax dollars,” Uribe said.

Retailers are also having an easier time getting products from overseas that they struggled to get last holiday season, Uribe said.

“The supply chain issues that were there are starting to fade away, so that’s also helping the economy rebound,” he said.

The city’s general fund budget was approximately $45 million in the last fiscal year, 37% of which was generated by sales tax revenue. The other main sources of revenue for the general fund are property taxes, hotel room taxes and business taxes.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine, which has sent economic shockwaves across the world, is a matter of concern for city leaders.

“We are monitoring the situation in Ukraine and, at this stage, we have no measurable impact, but we are keeping an eye on it,” the chief financial officer said.

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