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Holiday Sales Tax Outlook

December 3, 2012, 6:04 PM by Sammi Bjelland

Holiday Sales Tax Outlook

The Christmas shopping season is in full swing. And the number of times people swipe their cards or hand over their hard earned cash, makes a big impact on our local economy.

"They do generate a lot of revenue. They're larger than the average month throughout the year, as you would expect. So we certainly hope to see that growth that we've been seeing throughout the year continue through the holiday shopping season," Sioux Falls City Finance Director Tracy Turbak said.

The sales tax is split up two ways. The first penny is used for general city services. This helps maintain departments like police and fire. It also helps pay for the up keep of things like streets, parks and libraries.

"It's a key fueling source for those day to day services that everyone in town expects the city to provide," Turbak said.

The second penny goes toward capital improvements; such as new construction the city will be working on in the future. Shoppers like Kim Jensen recognize the importance of supporting these projects.

"We need to support our local businesses, and keep them thriving. So that we have income into Sioux Falls to keep Sioux Falls striving," Jensen said.

Through October, sales tax numbers in Sioux Falls are up more than six percent this year. That's compared to only 2.8 percent increase in 2011.

Even though these numbers aren't quite up to pre-recession levels, they are still heading in the right direction for Turbak.

"In the past, prior to '08 and '09, we were seeing growth at higher rates than that. So, we're not back to those levels yet, but that's okay. That just reflects how fast the community is growing. We're seeing some very solid growth and I think the city's able to keep up with that pace of growth," Turbak said.

Turbak says the holiday shopping sales tax figures should be back for revue in January or February.

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