Local tax receipts from January through March sales were 2.1% higher than the first quarter of 2016 after factoring for accounting anomalies.
Rising fuel prices, auto sales, county use tax pool allocations and dining out added most to the overall gain. Some categories of general consumer goods and B2B sales were flat or down.
This quarter reflects the start of an anticipated leveling off of future tax revenues. After seven years of recovery, analysts are reporting an end to the previous pent up demand for autos. Demand for new cars will ease due to more buyers tied to long-term loans and a glut of used cars coming off lease.
Price competition and store closures have reduced tax receipts from consumer goods. Business investment remains strong but much of the growth is for non-taxable items such as cloud computing and large data solutions. Declines in foreign tourist visits and lower costs of eating at home are expected to slow the growth in restaurant sales.
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