Businesses report drop in collection of sales tax

  • Wednesday, December 5, 2001 9:00pm
  • Business

Associated Press

OLYMPIA — In another sign of Washington’s weakening economy, businesses reported that their sales tax collections and gross business receipts declined during the second quarter of 2001, the first dip since 1995.

The state Department of Revenue, in its Quarterly Business Review published online Tuesday, said gross business income dropped 1.4 percent, to $102.1 billion, when compared with the same period a year ago.

The agency said that was the first decline since Boeing workers went on strike during the fourth quarter of 1995.

Gross receipts dropped for the three largest industry groups, wholesale trade, manufacturing and retail trade, although the other seven main industry groups were up from the previous year.

Taxable retail sales declined slightly, to $21.2 billion, only the fifth time that has happened in the past 25 years. Three of the previous quarterly declines came during the recession of the early 1980s.

Taxable retail sales dropped in 17 of the 39 counties. Columbia and Asotin had the steepest falloffs, at 14.7 percent and 122.7 percent respectively.

Klickitat County led the counties with gains, with a 389 percent increase attributed to a booming construction season. If construction isn’t included, Klickitat’s retail trade was off by 4.9 percent.

Sales were off in 23 of the 50 cities tracked by the state, led by Bellevue, with a 10.3 percent reduction. At the other end of the spectrum, Richland reported a 17.8 percent gain.

Copyright ©2001 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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