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Region’s taxable sales hit six-year high

BY BILL FREEHLING

Spending by Fredericksburg-area shoppers climbed again in the second quarter of this year.

Taxable sales in the Fredericksburg area rose to their highest level in almost six years for the three months ending June 30. Two area localities hit record highs.

There were $898.6 million worth of taxable sales in the region during the quarter, according to Virginia Department of Taxation data released Tuesday.

That was up 6.6 percent compared with the second quarter of 2011, and was the best quarter since the three months ending Sept. 30, 2006—when the housing market was still rolling. Statewide, taxable sales grew 6.8 percent year-over-year.

The report continues good news in local taxable sales. The fourth quarter of 2011 showed $883 million in sales, at the time the best quarter since 2006. And the first quarter of this year showed the highest first-quarter sales since 2006.

Taxable sales rose year-over-year in every area

locality: Fredericksburg and Caroline, King George, Stafford and Spotsylvania counties.

Stafford and King George fared particularly well, with sales up 6.8 percent and 36.8 percent year-over-year, respectively. Taxable sales in both counties were higher than in any previous quarter. King George’s numbers were likely boosted by the opening of the Walmart store in the Dahlgren area last August.

Spotsylvania continued to lead the way overall, with about 41 percent of the region’s taxable sales. Stafford accounted for about 28 percent, Fredericksburg about 24 percent and King George and Caroline the remainder.

Taxable sales are a good economic indicator, as they include figures from a wide variety of manufacturing, retail and service businesses. Local governments derive a significant part of their budgets from sales taxes.

Bill Freehling: 540/374-5405

bfreehling@freelancestar.com

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