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Snapshot hints at turnaround

Economy: While revenues have yet to hit pre-Great Recession numbers, city report shows gains

Posted: June 8, 2011 1:55 a.m.
Updated: June 8, 2011 1:55 a.m.

No one can call an economic recovery with any certainty, but the city of Santa Clarita has tracked signs of some kind of recovery via its revenues generated within city limits.

Sales taxes
The city’s sales tax revenue was up 7.7 percent over the year before in the fourth quarter 2010, according to the city’s Economic Snapshot report issued Tuesday.
While the $6.77 million in revenue was down from $7.63 million from the city’s highest quarter ever in 2007, the sales-tax figure does not yet include state and county pool allocations, but point-of-sale revenue only.

Locally, hotels are faring better than the national average.
By March, the city had collected $485,000 in revenue from its hotel tax, Transient Occupancy Tax, for the year. That’s a 6.1 percent increase over the same period last year, the city report states.
In the month of March alone, hotel tax revenues were up 2.8 percent, with $188,792 in revenue.
Smith Travel Research reported March 2011 hotel occupancy in the city was 8 percent higher than March 2010. Nationally, the rate was up 6 percent.
The city also experienced a higher percentage of occupied hotel rooms than the national average. Santa Clarita’s hotels had an occupancy rate of 69 percent. The national average is a 61-percent occupancy rate.

Location filming
The city’s location filming program as a revenue generator for the city recorded benefits, as well.
Locally, location filming revenue in March was up 12 percent, generating $1,725,000. That’s also a 55-percent increase over 2008, when the nation sunk into the depths of the Great Recession.
As for year-to-date comparisons between 2011 and 2008, revenue is up 61 percent over the two years measured generating nearly $3.8 million in 2011.
Productions throughout Los Angeles County, though, have been working on reduced budgets and spending more time in studios than on-location filming.
Cities are seeing fewer on-location filming days for feature films than in the past, and an increase in shorter, lower-budget productions.
The same trend affected local numbers, resulting in a year-to-date decrease of 6 percent for the city when revenue dipped to $3,565,500, down from $3,787,000 a year ago.


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