The city of Santa Barbara received $4.84 million in sales tax revenue during the quarter which ended June 30.
This is 15% below the same quarter last year, and largely because of the reduced economic activity because of COVID-19 and the related response.
Furthermore, California provided relief to many small businesses by extending the 3rd quarter deadline to file sales tax returns from April to July.
This allowed some small businesses to spread those payments out over the ensuing 12 months.
This economic activity is similar to national economic activity, a significant contraction due to the pandemic with signs of a full recovery likely to take several years.
“Nobody has a crystal ball, but staff are continuing to review and monitor sales tax activities locally to develop comprehensive projections that will help inform our budget process next year,” Keith DeMartini, the finance director for the city, told the News-Press. “Locally, our sales tax numbers have remained fairly strong given the diverse industries that we have here in Santa Barbara.”
He said that while there was a clear downturn in certain sectors such as automobile and gasoline sales, there was an uptick in online retail.
“The numbers are indicating that the recovery of sales tax revenue may take a little bit longer than just immediate recovery in this current fiscal year,” Mr. DeMartini concluded.
The sales tax finished the fiscal year 2020 at $21.2 million, which was below the sales tax budget of $23.8 million, and the second largest General Fund revenue.
For more information on the results, visit https://www.santabarbaraca.gov/civicax/filebank/blobdload.aspx?BlobID=39372.