By Tammy Gray
With the end of the fiscal year coming June 30, most local governments will be able to report a modest increase in sales tax revenue over last year, with Navajo County reaching pre-recession levels for state sales tax income.
Sales tax revenues, including both state and local taxes, are one of the largest single sources of revenue for Navajo County as well as the municipalities within it, including Holbrook, Winslow, Snowflake and Taylor. Although the increases in revenue are modest, they are significant in that they represent a continuing reversal of the trend of dropping tax revenues that began during the recession in 2008.
According to data provided by the Office of the Arizona State Treasurer, to date Navajo County has received a total of $7,417,258 in state sales tax revenues, up by $164,136 over the $7,253,122 received through mid-June last year. It also represents an $808,981 increase over collections for the same time period in the 2012-13 fiscal year, and $1,296,697 over the 2011-12 fiscal year.
For the first time since the recession, Navajo County state sales tax received is at about the same level generated prior to the recession. In fiscal year 2007-08, the county received $7,409,197. The next year, it plummeted to $6.5 million and has only slowly crept back up to the 2007-08 level.
County sales tax is also up for the current fiscal year, with the county having collected $6,206,813 so far, compared to $6,079,859 through mid-June last fiscal year. In 2007-08, the county collected $6,408,090, during that time period, but the following year that total dropped to $6,021,607.
Like the county, the City of Holbrook saw an increase in state sales tax revenues, increasing from $401,434 in revenue received through mid-June last fiscal year to $419,817. Although the total represents only an $18,383 increase, it is an improvement over the $376,260 received in fiscal year 2012-13 and the $361,071 in 2011-12.
Just prior to the recession, during fiscal year 2007-08, the city had received $459,162 in state sales tax distributions. That number quickly dropped to $404,470 the following year.
City sales tax revenues so far this fiscal year are up by nearly $188,134 compared to last fiscal year. The city has collected $3,404,755 so far this year, compared to $3,216,621 during the same timeframe last fiscal year. Through mid-June of the 2007-08 fiscal year, the city collected $2,866,519, and in 2008-09, the city received $2,621,154.
State sales tax distributions increased by $35,126 for the City of Winslow through mid-June this fiscal year compared to the same period last year. Total revenues to date are $802,165, compared to $767,039 last year. The total also represents an increase over the $718,938 collected during the same period in fiscal year 2012-13 and the $689,915 received in 2011-12.
In fiscal year 2007-08, just prior to the impacts of the recession, Winslow collected a total of $832,417 in state sales tax through mid-June, putting this year’s collections just off that mark. By 2008-09, that total had dropped to $733,264.
City sales tax revenues fell way off the mark this fiscal year for Winslow, according to the state treasurer’s reports, with the city collecting $4,972,450 so far this fiscal year, compared to $6,223,107 last fiscal year. This year’s total is much closer to normal, however, with the city having collected $4,184,874 through mid-June during fiscal year 2007-08.
The Town of Snowflake saw a very modest gain of $20,337 in state sales tax revenues to date this fiscal year compared to last year. The total collected so far is $464,433, while $444,096 was collected during the same time period in 2013-14. That amount still represents an increase over the 2012-13 collections of $416,247 as well as 2011-12 receipts of $399,443.
Just before the effects of the recession were felt, the city collected $417,690 during the same time period in 2007-08, but that dropped to $367,937 in 2008-09.
Town sales tax revenues also jumped slightly for Snowflake during the current fiscal year, with the town collecting $1,007,530 to date this year, compared to $933,667 for the same timeframe last fiscal year. In 2007-08, the town collected $1,342,204, but that dropped to $1,131,032 in 2008-09.
State sales tax revenues for the Town of Taylor have increased by $14,959 so far this fiscal year, with the town receiving $341,636, compared to $326,677 last fiscal year. While only a slight increase, the total is a continued improvement over the $306,191 received through mid-June of fiscal year 2012-13 and the $293,830 received in fiscal year 2011-12.
In fiscal year 2007-08, the town received $347,016 in state sales tax revenues through mid-June, making this fiscal year the first to come close to pre-recession levels. In 2008-09 the town’s state sales tax revenue had dropped to $305,682.
Town sales tax revenues also increased for Taylor this fiscal year, with the state treasurer’s office reporting that the town has collected $687,431 to date, compared to $615,328 last fiscal year. In 2007-08, the town received $822,206, and unlike most other cities and towns hit hard by the recession in fiscal year 2008-09, Taylor saw a slight increase to $832,047, which then dropped the following year to $633,557.