Queen City Revenue Sales Stay Stagnant

By: Mike Mueller
By: Mike Mueller

Retail growth in eastern Augusta County and in Waynesboro continues to take its toll on Staunton's revenue sales, a trend that will probably continue over the next few years.

As Staunton gears up for its 2007 fiscal budget they are not expecting much from this year's sales revenue.

"They're a little low or flat at his point so we're not projecting them to be up much next year," says Staunton Assistant City Manager Jim Halasz.

"We feel that the flat or no growth in sales tax revenue may have something to do with continued retail development in Waynesboro," adds the city's Commissioner of Revenue Maggie Ragon.

And that's keeping next year's projections to a minimum, flat lining from this current year's, which by the way is well under its mark.

"Although there was projected growth in 2006," says Ragon. "We are not in fact seeing that realization."

"Good growth in sales leads to good growth in sales tax which is important to us because we don't have to raise real estate taxes," says Halasz.

But Staunton is staying the course with a new Martin's on the way and its residential growth booming.

"Strategy wise," adds Halasz. "I think we are going to have to continue to do what we've continued to do over the years and continue to invest in our community so it's an attractive place to do business."

Officials expect revenue sales to pick back up over the next several years as Staunton continues to develop. The quickest fix will come this summer with Martin's opening.

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