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Holiday sales on par locally

Local shoppers might not have made the 2012 holiday season as merry and bright as some shopkeepers and government officials may have liked.

But the latest round of local sales tax data indicates shoppers also delivered most local retailers with little reason for panic.

This week, the Illinois Department of Revenue released data on sales tax collected by the state for December and distributed to counties and city governments throughout the state.

The amount of municipal and county sales tax dollars disbursed to the counties and cities is equal to 1 percent of all sales subject to sales tax made within each local government’s boundaries.

And locally, the numbers indicate shoppers visiting retailers in the Tri-Cities and elsewhere in Kane County appear to have spent about the same in 2012 as they did in 2011.

In March, Kane County was scheduled to receive about $1.228 million in sales tax for sales made in December. Last year, the county received $1.225 million from December 2011 sales.

The increase in the December sales tax take, however, was not fueled by retail activity in the Tri-Cities.

In St. Charles, Geneva and Batavia, the combined sales tax totals for December declined about 1.4 percent from December 2011.

For December 2012, the cities, combined, collected about $2 million in sales taxes, down from $2.03 million in 2011.

Sales made during the onset of the holiday shopping season in November, however, helped to offset those losses.

For November and December combined, the three communities’ sales tax take declined only 0.6 percent, from $3.62 million in 2011 to $3.6 million last year.

St. Charles continued to be the region’s primary economic driver last holiday season, raking in about $1.7 million in municipal sales tax for November and December 2012.

Geneva collected $1.05 million during the 2012 holiday season. And Batavia collected $843,447.

Chris Minick, finance director for St. Charles, said he had hoped the 2012 holiday season would have generated an increase over that recorded in 2011. He noted that, since April 2012, retail activity in St. Charles had been stronger than what was seen in 2011.

“And we would have liked to have seen that trend continue into the holiday season,” Minick said.

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