Sequim sales tax revenue soars in reports from first month of Wal-Mart operation

Peninsula Daily News

SEQUIM -- January sales tax revenue jumped almost 70 percent over the same time period last year -- but the new Wal-Mart is getting only part of the credit.

The city posted $162,000 in sales tax revenue in January compared with $95,500 in January last year.

There is a two-month lag between the time of the sale and the time of the tax payment, so January's receipts reflect retail sales in November -- Wal-Mart's first full month of operation at Washington Street and Priest Road.

While the comparison suggests a huge jump, the number is actually consistent with steady sales tax growth in Sequim since summer of last year, before the retailing giant opened in late October.

``Wal-Mart is a piece of [the increase],'' City Manager Bill Elliott said.

``How much, we don't know.''

Sales tax revenue in 2004 totaled just under $1.5 million, about 22 percent greater than 2003's $1.2 million.

The bulk of that growth came in the second half of the year, where month-by-month comparisons with 2003 figures show sales tax revenue increases ranging from 25 percent to 57 percent.



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