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Area taxable sales hit record high


Taxable sales hit a record high in the Fredericksburg area during the three months ending Sept. 30, according to Virginia Department of Taxation data released Tuesday.

The region had $919.2 million in taxable sales during the third quarter, up 5.5 percent from the same period in 2011. Taxable sales have gone up every quarter this year.

The third-quarter performance was the best for the region since the Department of Taxation changed the way it tracks the data in late 2005. The previous high, $912.1 million, was set in the second quarter of 2006, when the housing market was still booming.

The Fredericksburg region—the city and Caroline, King George, Spotsylvania and Stafford counties—slightly outpaced Virginia’s year-over-year growth rate of 5.1 percent.

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

King George, driven by commercial growth in the Dahlgren area, logged the region’s best year-over-year gains in the third quarter, at 18.8 percent. Fredericksburg (up 9.6 percent), Stafford (up 5.4 percent) and Spotsylvania (up 2.8 percent) also had gains, while Caroline’s taxable sales slipped 2.1 percent from 2011.

Spotsylvania had 40.1 percent of the region’s total taxable sales, followed by Stafford (28.3 percent), Fredericksburg (23.8 percent), King George (4.5 percent) and Caroline (3.3 percent).

Bill Freehling: 540/374-5405