Redlands sales tax revenue declined by nearly one-third in the first quarter of 2020 compared to the first quarter of 2019, according to a report prepared for the city by HdL Companies release during the summer.

However, the drop was attributed largely to deferred payments by businesses taking advantage of the state’s 90-day filing extension. Excluding reporting aberrations, actual sales were down 9.1%.   

“Covid-19 restrictions impacted sales in many business groups,” said the report. “The automotive group had the largest impact as new car sales declined 18.9%. A 40.7% decline in business and industry was exaggerated by a onetime payment that inflated prior year medical/biotech results. Most retail and dining categories were lower; general consumer goods were down 12.4%, while the restaurant group was off 13.9%.”

Positive sectors included building and construction, which increased 7.6%, food and drugs, up 24.1%, and fuel sales, 3%.

The second quarter sales tax report won’t be available until early November due to filing extensions granted by Gov. Gavin Newsom’s executive orders, the time required for the state to process tax returns and the time required by the city’s consultant, HdL, to perform analysis once tax returns are processed by the state, said city spokesman Carl Baker.

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