Monthly Economic Report: Sales Tax Revenues Continue to Outpace Last Year

Audit Date: September 27, 2012
Audit Categories
  • Financial
Controller: Alan Butkovitz

Executive Summary

For Immediate Release:
September 27, 2012

Contact: Brian Dries

Sales Tax Revenues Continue to Outpace Last Year
Controller Alan Butkovitz’ latest economic report reviews city tax revenues
& latest poverty data

August 2012 Economic Report

PHILADELPHIA – With August marking the second highest ever monthly sales tax collection, Philadelphia’s sales tax revenues have been at or above previous year’s collections for 10 consecutive months, according to City Controller Alan Butkovitz’ economic report released today.

Sales tax revenues for August totaled $23.7 million, which is a seven percent increase over August 2011, and the second highest ever monthly collection since Philadelphia adopted the eight percent sales tax almost three years ago. February’s sales tax revenues totaled $23.9, which is the highest amount recorded for one month.

Since November 2011, monthly sales tax revenues have outpaced collections every month over the previous year except in May when the amount collected was equal to collections in May 2011. The current Fiscal Year 2013 estimate is almost $260 million, an increase of four percent from the Fiscal Year 2012 actual collection.

Along with reviewing city tax revenues, the City Controller’s economic report analyzed the latest poverty data released by the U.S. Census Bureau, which indicated Philadelphia’s rate increased from 26.7 percent in 2010 to 28.4 percent in 2011. Philadelphia’s current rate is almost double the national rate of 15 percent.

Philadelphia also has the highest poverty rate among the 10 most populated U.S. cities. Phoenix, similar in size to Philadelphia, has a poverty rate of 22.9 percent, and New York City stands at 20.9 percent. The median household income in Philadelphia is $34,207, which is $16,295 less than the national median.

The Controller’s economic report is compiled on a monthly basis and includes an Economic Snapshot and Forecast, as well as real estate information on other local statistics. These reports are circulated every month to assist key decision makers in understanding and anticipating local and national economic trends. The Controller’s economic report is a useful tool for policy makers and analysis in understanding our regional and local economy.