The glass is half full, says the City of Madison. City Finance Officer Jennifer Eimers reports that Madison's sales tax revenue increased 5.4% in 2012.
But the glass is half empty, Chuck Clement ends up saying it:
Looking at some other communities in the region, Howard's 2012 sales tax revenue decreased by about 17.5 percent from the previous year, dropping from $438,000 to $361,000. Colman's revenue increased by 18 percent from $150,000 to $177,000. Arlington received a 10.8 percent increase collecting $585,000. Salem benefited from an 8.6 percent increase that brought in $513,000.
The 10 largest cities in South Dakota also saw positive growth in their sales tax revenue during 2012. Mitchell led with the largest percentage increase of 9 percent, providing the city with $11.5 million. Watertown had an 8 percent increase in 2012 that amounted to $14.4 million in sales-tax revenue.
Sioux Falls collected $103.6 million in sales-tax revenue last year, a 6.3 percent increase from 2011. Rapid City collected $52.6 million in 2012 municipal sales tax, a 6.7 percent increase [Chuck Clement, "City Sales-Tax Revenue Increases by 5.4 Percent," Madison Daily Leader, 2013.03.07].
Sales tax revenue grew faster in every town Clement mentions except for Howard. I have friends in Howard, but if "We beat Howard" is your benchmark for success, you need a new benchmark.
Let me help Clement balance the story and buoy Julie Gross's spirits: Madison still beat Spearfish. Out here, our sales tax revenue grew just 3.85%. I'm obviously not buying enough stuff. But Spearfish also had $6.96 million in total sales tax revenue, compared to Madison's $2.90 million.