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Grass Valley sees moderate sales tax growth

Grass Valley sales tax receipts for last year’s fourth quarter — from July to September 2014 — saw a 2.3 percent increase from the same period in 2013, an uptick partially attributed to a 7 percent rise in used cars and automotive supplies receipts. The city also had gains in general consumer goods and restaurant and hotel receipts, according to a city report,

In comparison, during that same period, statewide total sales tax revenues rose by 5.5 percent, while Nevada County saw a 6.6 percent rise over the comparable time frame.

“Growth’s been still very moderate,” City Manager Bob Richardson said. “It’s not at all to the extent that the city needs it to move in. We will be going out and actively pursuing the relocation of sales tax producing businesses. Not the traditional retail-type store, but the direct sales manufacturing type businesses. Those will be our target companies.”



Presented at a recent Measure N Oversight Committee meeting, the report boasts close to $1,375,000 in gross receipts, measuring three months worth of third quarter sales tax and revenue acquired by the city during the fourth quarter of the fiscal year.

The city’s consumer goods and fuel industries led the pack in sales tax, taking up a combined 40 percent of all sales tax revenue in the city.




Fuel stations, however, saw the most significant dip in sales, with a 4.7 percent drop from a year ago, with grocery and liquor stores seeing the second largest decrease, with a 2.8 percent decline.

“Sales tax for gas stations is predicated on both cost per gallon and demand, and those variables will change over time. Those will commonly fluctuate,” said Richardson. “We also have the Arco station that has been closed for remodel that contributed.”

Building and construction receipts also posted a decline, which Richardson attributes to a possible lack of reporting.

“Sometimes you have a company that doesn’t report or turn in their taxes that quarter, so you can have an apparent reduction that gets caught up the next quarter and goes high,” Richardson said. “With construction I think we’ll probably see some kind of anomaly when we analyze the data that will be rectified in the next several quarters.”

The city’s voter-approved sales tax measure generated more than $670,000 during the quarter’s fiscal year-to-date, a 4.2 percent increase from a year ago. The half-cent tax implemented by Measure N was a 2012 initiative established to raise funds for local fire, police and street maintenance.

Ancillary to hard financial numbers, the report lists the city’s top 25 producers of sales tax revenue from July through September 2014, which include Briarpatch Community Market, Safeway, Robinson Enterprises, and Hills Flat Lumber.

Richardson said that moving forward, city staff aim to focus on growing sales tax revenue through a tourism campaign, and the relocation of direct sales manufacturing businesses.

“You have a number of them in the Grass Valley area already, like the Grass Valley Group,” said Richardson.

He added, “There you have a high-tech company that directly sells their components and provides great high-paying jobs, as well as produces sales tax for the city… It is now time for us to work directly for direct recruitment into the city, and I will begin that.”

To contact Staff Writer Ivan Natividad, email inatividad@theunion.com or call 530-477-4236.


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