This was posted in the comments section on the public works topic. I found it interesting so I am re-posting it:
Ok, This is a bit lengthy but good information.
The top 25 sales tax generators is a public document titled Encinitas Sales Tax and is circulated to the media and groups like the chambers of commerce and town councils. It's very available for those who choose to look.
It comes out quarterly and the data is about one year in the rears.
The data is the sales tax that the merchants pay to the Board of Equalization, and then that total is reported in the city that it was generated in and further reported in geo areas within the city and in per resident income.
So it's real world data and cannot be spun as speculative one way or the other.
The per capita or per resident sales tax income is the important number. Essentially this is how much money/income per resident that the city has to spend providing services to it's citizens.
The other large income chunk for cities is property tax which is of course not addressed in the sales tax report.
We all have a natural tendency to focus on the cost of projects and what we want as citizens but very few of us focus on the income side of that equation that gets to pay for it all. That is just as important so here it goes.
For example, sales tax income income as reported in the latest report:
Carlsbad, $6500 per quarter year per resident.
Encinitas, $3800 per quarter per resident.
San Marcos, $4440 per quarter per resident.
Oceanside, $1950 per quarter per resident
Vista, $2650 per quarter per resident
Solana Beach, $4200 per quarter per resident.
You can see the marked differences in cities and then assess for yourself the lever of services provided in those cities.
The top 25 change from quarter to quarter depending on seasonal sales. They appear in alphabetical order and no information is provide as to dollar amount. Good reason forthis because it's private business and competitors would love to see it.
Barnes & Noble
Beverages and More
Encinitas tile Supply
Financial services vehicle trust
Herman Cook Volkswagen
Home Depot& Expo
Linens N things
You can thank these folks (or blame them if you're so inclined)for helping to pay for everything.
My summery (subjectivity follows)
Although there is a lot of personal wealth in Encinitas, it was set up as mostly a bedroom community at incorporation and we have few large tax generators. Our income as a city is just over half of what Carlsbad is and less than San Marcos, Solana Beach, Escondido, and more than Oceanside and Vista.
That income = service levels.
All in all, encinitas does a really good job with what it has to work with.
Plus its a great to live and work.
Thanks JP for the blog
hope the info helps.
July 20, 2006
*blogger's note--I think it's important to remember a couple of things about life, work and our government. Sometimes lifetime civil servants (aka career politicians) start thinking of you as an employee instead of a citizen. The reality is, your mission in life is not to generate tax income, your mission in life is whatever you want it to be. The government is supposed to be low key and behind the scenes, running the infrastructure so you can express your constitutional rights. Sadly, the government is always in your face trying to control what you want to do.
Notice that there are no restaurants in the top 25. Restaurants are not huge tax generators yet it is the numerous restaurants in downtown Encinitas that add greatly to our quality of life.
Target may be a huge tax generator because everyone shops there for stuff but would you rather get a pizza at Oly O's or get a room temperature hot dog in the Target food court?
Cities like to collect property tax, this is why so many beady eyed civil servants hate Prop 13. But it is Prop 13 that has allowed California to be diverse and strong in the long run. The city may resent you that you bought your house in 1970 but who cares? You are not here for them, they are supposed to be here for you. The city is supposed to keep the pot holes filled so you can drive to work and do business. The money you earn is your money. You pay taxes to contribute to the pot hole filling fund. If you are 65 years old and have been working since you were 15 you did what you did for you and your family. Your motivation for working hard your whole life was not fill the city coffers although that happened along the way.
You are much more than a taxpayer, you are a human being. This is why you should be wary of governments that try to control what books you read, what websites you visit and what churches you worship in.
Personally I try hard to only spend my money in Encinitas city limits. Even though I'm not a big spender or much of a consumer I make sure that all my money goes back into the community. I don't drive to Carlsbad and shop at Costco, I buy all my groceries locally. In fact, I do most of my shopping at Just Peachy and El Torito (and Trader Joe's which is in the top 25. Man, that place cranks. What is crazy is that most stuff you buy at the grocery store is tax exempt).
I don't spend my money locally just to keep the tax here, I do it to support the business owners and employees who are also our friends and neighbors. If you support your local small business they in turn do things like sponsor the local little league team. The waitress you left a tip for at Roxy? She lives in Cardiff. It's good to support each other.
Now I have a question for you smartie pants. Last week I spent $83.43 at Trader Joe's. The tax was only $0.83 cents (a total of $84.26).
How much of that $0.83 does Encinitas get?