The Coast News Group
Customers walk back to their cars after shopping at Target and Buy Buy Baby. New stores like Buy Buy Baby partly explain why sales tax revenue has risen 8.7 percent in Encinitas. Photo Jared Whitlock
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Sales tax report shows ‘good sign of consumer confidence’ in Encinitas

ENCINITAS — Gross sales tax receipts were 8.7 percent higher from April to June than the same period last year, according to a report released by the city last month. 

Of the industry groups in the report, restaurants and hotels, automobiles and transportation and general consumer goods posted the biggest gains. Combined, the categories averaged a 14.5 percent increase, besting the county’s 9.8 percent and the state’s 10 percent average for the three industry groups.

“This a good sign for consumer confidence,” said Teri Shoemaker, the city’s finance manager.

Consumer good sales benefited from new local businesses, including Buy Buy Baby, Kohl’s, Wal-Mart and Tuesday Morning, among others, the report states. Increases in new car sales and fuel prices led to the automobile and transportation category ticking upward — a trend that’s also played out at the state level, Shoemaker said. Also, she said an improving economy and more tourists accounted for restaurant and hotel sales tax receipts rising.

“More people are out spending money — it’s encouraging,” Shoemaker said.

Geographically, receipts from the Encinitas Ranch Town Center, where stores like Stater Bros., Ross, Target and Best Buy are located, brought in the most revenue with about $566,000. That’s $26,000 greater than the total from last year over the same period, but nearly flat compared with 2009.

Old Encinitas, which includes downtown businesses, was responsible for around $537,000 in tax receipts, while businesses on northwest El Camino Real generated $494,000.

Old Encinitas and northwest El Camino Real continue to play a greater role in Encinitas’ economic landscape. Sales tax receipts in Old Encinitas were up about $135,000 over the last three years. Respectively, they increased $120,000 in northwest El Camino Real during the same time.

Tax receipts for all of Encinitas totaled $2.6 million from April to June.

Sales tax receipts were up 6.6 percent for San Diego County, while Southern California as a whole increased 7.4 percent, according to the report.