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Taxable sales expected to increase
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The city of Ceres expects sales tax revenues to increase before the 2011-12 fiscal year is over on June 30.

According to Finance Director Sheila Cumberland, the city estimates that its sales tax receipts will increase from $4,124,125 in the last fiscal year to $4,321,288 in the current.

The amount still falls short of the $4,667,437 in receipts the city received during the 2008-09 year before the current economic recession.

Though the economy may be slow to recover, taxable sales are projected to have surged 13 percent from third quarter 2009 to third quarter 2011, according to the California State Board of Equalization, the state's tax commission.

The increase comes as a 5 percent - $5.8 billion - year-over-year raise in just-finalized third quarter 2010 taxable sales figures, and a further, currently-estimated, 8 percent surge in third quarter 2011.

"It's encouraging to see the sustained steady growth in retail sales," said George Runner, who represents the Valley on the State Board of Equalization. "Hopefully sooner rather than later will it translate into more jobs for out-of-work Californians."

Taxable sales represent all retail sales in California which are subject to sales and use taxes.

Final numbers from third quarter 2010 show the BOE Second District - a massive area stretching from Siskiyou County to Los Angeles County and including Stanislaus County - growing taxable sales by $1.3 billion or 4.8 percent compared to third quarter 2009. The San Joaquin Valley in particular posted stronger growth than the state, up $705 million, or 6.7 percent year-over-year.

Stanislaus County did worse than the Valley as a whole, posting $1.0 million in third quarter 2010 retail and food services taxable sales, and $1.6 million in all taxable sales for the period. That's up just slightly - 2 percent - from 2009's $978,571 in retail and food sales, and up 6 percent from $1.5 million in all taxable sales.