The City of Kodiak on Tuesday released its sales tax report, indicating an overall 15 percent decline in sales tax collections for the last quarter of 2013, compared to the same period in 2012.
Sales tax collections totals dropped nearly $500,000 from $3.27 million in Q4 2012 to $2.78 million in Q4 2013.
Fourth quarter gross receipts rose nearly 8 percent, but this was likely a “timing issue,” Mary Monk, the city’s finance director, told the Mirror.
The 15 percent decline was a cause for concern for some in Kodiak, however. “They have traditionally always gone up. It’s a concern,” said Trevor Brown, Chamber of Commerce executive director.
Retail sales and wholesale shrank 17 percent year-on-year from $65.9 million in Q4 2012 to $54.7 million in Q4 2013, signifying a poor showing for the holiday season — a period when retail spending should be up. “It’s definitely something we need to look at. I’m guessing we’re getting cut into by Internet sales. It’s something that we’ll be working on in the coming year,” Brown said.
Also showing weakening were manufacturing, information, and accommodation and food services. Manufacturing fell nearly 30 percent year-on-year, information sank some 20 percent, and food services and accommodations dropped nearly 17 percent, while health care and social assistance rocketed 93 percent.
The city’s largest economic sector, construction, grew nearly 108 percent quarter-on-quarter, from just above $12 million in Q4 2012 to roughly $25 million in Q4 2013. This was likely due to several large construction projects at Kodiak High School, Near Island, and the Navy SEALs Base.
Brown was also concerned over the city’s sluggish real estate market, which is suffering from too much inventory on the market and, and ultimately, an overly expensive cost of living. “Now that the recession’s ending in other places it makes sense for people to go other places to find work with lower costs of living,” he said.
Some at the city, however, did not appear very concerned over the sagging indicators.
“I think our economy is very consistent,” said Monk. “We have a very stable economy in Kodiak.”
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