Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Sales tax revenues 13% short

Sales tax revenues around the valley are tanking worse than expected. In Mesa, the taxes were 13% or almost $1.5 million off of what was anticipated. It looks like the city has planned for some little bumps in the road like this, but if it continues, we'll have to expect even more cuts.

The Mayor is right, we haven't hit the bottom yet. Without a state budget, a spending spree going on in Washington, and people losing their jobs left and right, our economy is in chaos and it will not be fixed anytime soon. All we can hope is that we are able to hold on, and make incremental steps towards sending Mesa in the right direction.

In being a leader in doing more with less, Mesa can actually make up some ground that has been lost in the past few years, so that when things do start to recover, they can be at the front of the curve. As we have said before, Gateway has the potential to lead the way in the next couple of years, and ten years from now, we can be looking at Mesa as a regional and national leader just like it was years ago.

Part of that, however, is going to require Mesa to move away from its dependence on sales tax. Just as this latest dip shows, it is not a long-term source of viable revenue. Mesa must diversify if it wants to limit its swings with the local economy.

No comments: