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Sales tax revenue down on Whidbey

Fears over declining sales, and the consequent drop in state revenues, were confirmed by data released by the Washington State Department of Revenue earlier this month.

Taxable retail sales, also called TRS, declined 10.8 percent to $27.7 billion in 2008 compared to the fourth quarter of 2007. Statewide retail trade, a more accurate measure of consumer purchases, dropped 11.9 percent to $12.1 billion over the same time.

Among Whidbey Island communities, Oak Harbor suffered the most substantial drop in retail trade between 2007 and 2008, amounting to more than a 7 percent decline. Langley fared slightly better with a 5.5 percent decline, and Coupeville defied the statewide trend by posting an 8 percent increase in retail trade sales tax receipts.

According to data released by the Department of Revenue, Island County’s retail trade declined more than 9 percent between 2007 and 2008.

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