Final Sales Tax Receipts Without Measure I Increase Rise Modest 2.2 Percent

Published : Wednesday, July 31, 2019 | 5:05 AM


Image courtesy HdL Companies

Pasadena’s first quarter 2019 sales tax receipts rose slightly over last year’s, driven by a boost in new car sales that outpaced regional trends.

Total tax sales tax revenue in Pasadena for the first quarter was just over $9 million ($9,063,000), up 2.2 percent.

By way of comparison, taxable sales for L.A. County, and the region overall, each increased 0.9 percent during the quarter in question.

It was the last quarterly report that will not contain Measure I receipts.

Measure I added an additional 0.75 percent to the sales tax as of April 1. That increase is expected to provide $21 million in revenues annually that will be shared by the City with the Pasadena Unified School District.

The quarterly report was published in the City Manager’s weekly newsletter for July 25, was prepared by consultant HDL Companies, which has done past work for the City and is involved with the Measure CC cannabis program implementation.

The broad category of “consumer goods” made up 24 percent of total first quarter revenue, with restaurants coming in second at 21 percent, and automobiles/transportation a close third with 20 percent.

Electronic store revenue dipped, “likely due to the timing of major product cycles and competition from internet sellers,” the report said.

The report pointed to several indicators that, nationally, after 10 years of continuous economic growth, things might be levelling off.

These indicators include: eight consecutive quarters of decline in California new car registrations; rising restaurant menu prices driven by competition from grocer-prepared meals; and cutbacks in visitors from other countries — also driving reductions in restaurant sales — when that sector had been one of the state’s fastest-growing.

According to HDL, there is uncertainty over U.S. tariff and trade policies, as well as labor shortages that are delaying investment and expansion initiatives, while two fiscal quarters of reduced home sales do not bode well, either.

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