Philadelphia sets record for sales tax revenue in February

Philadelphia City Controller Alan Butkovitz says sales tax revenues in February totaled almost $24 million, making it the highest in city history and about $1 million better than last year.

“It’s the fourth consecutive month of increases compared to last year, after about three months you can have some confidence that’s it’s not just a blip,” said Butkovitz.

Butkovitz says the extra money will come in handy for the cash-strapped city.

“It’s always good to have an extra $1 million in your pocket,” he said.  “The city has a lot of other challenges on the horizon and a million dollars out of a four-billion dollar budget is not a large percentage, but it is one additional indicator if that is up wages taxes should be up and other taxes based on business activity should be up.”

Butkovitz says growing sales tax numbers show that businesses in the region are doing better.

Philadelphia Budget Director Rebecca Rhynhart says the uptick is good, but it only balances out the down months from 2011.

“In July and August we were down a few million a month in sales tax so it’s very good that we were up a million in February but we have to look at it altogether,” said Rhynhart.

Rhynhart says with the uptick in collections, Philadelphia should be able to make its budget target for the fiscal year that ends June 30th.

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