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YELM RETAIL SALES UNDER-PERFORM –
DROP A DISMAL 10%, THE MOST IN COUNTY

Rolf Boone reported yesterday in The Olympian’s Business Blog:
“The City of Tumwater once again bucked a quarterly trend as its taxable retail sales rose in the fourth quarter of 2011, while retail sales fell or were flat in Thurston County, Olympia, Lacey and Yelm, according to data released Wednesday by the state Department of Revenue.

The county data also suggests that the holiday sales boost most retailers rely on to carry them into the new year didnt materialize as expected.

The year-over-year fourth-quarter data show:

-Thurston County: Fell 2.48 percent to $995.3 million from $1.02 billion.

-Olympia: Fell 3.13 percent $453.7 million from $468.4 million.

-Lacey: Fell 3.65 percent to $245.6 million from $254.9 million.

-Tumwater: Rose 6.19 percent to $112.4 million from $105.9 million.

-Yelm: Fell 10.10 percent to $38.8 million from $43.2 million.

The state also releases a separate category of retail sales called retail trade, considered a better reflection of consumer purchases.

The year-over-year fourth-quarter data show:

-Thurston County: Fell 0.22 percent to $525.8 million from $526.9 million.

-Yelm: Rose 0.39 percent to $25.2 million from $25.1 million”

Editor’s Note:
This can not be good news to city officials who depend on sales tax revenue to assist their budget as property tax receipts from dropping assessments continue their decline.

Even Yelm’s year-over-year retail trade numbers were flat, meaning there was no sales growth here during the holidays.

While this will get no mention at Tuesday’s Forum, Yelm’s Chamber of Commerce members led by Chamber President & Yelm Mayor Ron Harding should be discussing this issue with the public, as Yelm’s third quarter, 2011 retail sales numbers were down an equally surprising 9%.

On January 9, 2012, I asked on this blog,
IS A ‘PERFECT STORM’ APPROACHING YELM?

due to three factors:
1. Continuing drop in median home prices (and home sales tax revenue drop)
2. Significant drop in retail sales (over 9.5% for the 2nd half of 2011)
3. Yelm property owners get hit with a double whammy – another water rate increase AND a sewer hike
4. Continued strategic defaults & foreclosures

Read more from the April 4th Washington State Department of Revenue report:
Taxable Retail Sales Increase 4.2% in Fourth Quarter 2011

Posted by Steve on April 5, 2012 at 4:59 am | Permalink

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