A report on quarterly sales tax receipts from West Hollywood businesses provides further evidence that the local economy continues to rebound.
HdL Companies, the consulting service that prepared the report, said revenue from sales at local businesses was up 8.5 percent in the first quarter of this year over the first quarter of the year before. That compares with an increase of only 3.5 percent for all of Los Angeles County for the January-March 2014 period and an increase of 3.6 percent for all of Southern California. Total sales tax revenue for West Hollywood in the first quarter was $3.5 million.
Vendors of general consumer goods (clothing stores, department stores, furniture stores, etc.) were the largest generators of sales tax revenue, accounting for more than $1.2 million of the total. The next largest category was restaurants and hotels, responsible for just under $1.2 million in tax revenue. They dwarfed other categories. For example, food and drugs, the third ranked major category, generated a little more than $200,000 in sales tax revenue.
In a further breakdown of the major business categories, leisure and entertainment businesses, which include nightclubs and bars, showed the biggest increase in sales tax revenue, with an increase of 202 percent over the year before. The next largest percentage increase was for art/gift/novelty stores, which reported an increase of 63.5 percent HdL doesn’t report increases for categories such as discount department stores and new motor vehicle dealers. To do so would reveal confidential information given that there is only one discount department store (Target) in West Hollywood and few new car dealers.
Beverly Hills, whose population of 35,000 is roughly the same as West Hollywood’s but which has a more vibrant retail economy, showed first quarter sales tax revenues of $7.6 million. That represented an increase of 15 percent over the year before.
Santa Monica, whose population of 92,000 is about 160 percent higher than that of West Hollywood, had first quarter sales tax receipts of $8.3 million, up three percent over the same period the year before.
Culver City, with a population of 39,000, had sales tax receipts of $4.5 million, an increase of only six-tenths of one percent over the year before.