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6/24/2014 2:31:00 PM
Sales tax revenue boost for Camp Verde, Cottonwood
Year-to-year revenue numbers improved for Cottonwood and Camp Verde in May, but slipped in Clarkdale and Jerome.
Year-to-year revenue numbers improved for Cottonwood and Camp Verde in May, but slipped in Clarkdale and Jerome.

Cottonwood hit its six-month stride for positive growth in sales tax receipts in May, according to a new report from the Arizona Department of Revenue.

Big box stores, mainly Wal-Mart and a couple others, draw visitors from around the Verde Valley to spend money in Cottonwood, said administrative services general manager Rudy Rodriguez.

"It's always a pleasant surprise to have increases from year to year, but we do strive to be the economic hub for the Verde Valley," he said. "This is a strategy from years and years back."

Events like Tilted Earth bring in hundreds of people at a time, and happen year round. Rodriguez said the city is looking forward to its upcoming Thunder Valley Rally and Rhythm and Ribs.

"These are all by design meant to encourage people to come into the Verde Valley and also to get Cottonwood out there as a place to visit," he said.

Retail trade got an $89,000 boost to bring in about $748,000, and increases in construction, manufacturing, and real estate, rental and leasing also influenced the city's 13.6 percent increase in May.

The summer season brings visitors, Rodriguez said.

"On Friday afternoons, people are coming up the mountain," he said. "Sunday evening they all head down to Phoenix for jobs. Those are the ones we're trying to get off the I-17 to come visit."

Camp Verde had its second positive month since January, at about 5.7 percent higher in May than the same month in 2013.

A category called "other" was the main driver of the change at $60,000 in May compared to its usual value in the teens. This could be because the values were recorded incorrectly, or because it's impossible to keep the numbers anonymous if one company is the only contributor in a category, said Camp Verde economic director Steve Ayers.

In the six months since December of last year, February and March recorded the biggest drops in tax revenue, at more than 13 percent less.

Projects slated to start later in the year will help boost revenues, Ayers said, though how long it takes for those improvements to show in sales tax numbers is unclear.

People have been inquiring about properties available near the future hospital, which will begin being constructed around October.

"Even though it's been kind of a rough year in terms of dollars and cents coming and going, it's been a fantastic year as far as indicators of the future go," Ayers said.

Jerome continues to fluctuate from month to month. Though the town recorded a 10.6 percent increase in April sales tax revenues, May collections were 9.1 percent less in 2014 compared to the same month last year.

Restaurants and bars brought in about $4,000 less and retail trade fell by about $2,000, the two main contributors to the May decrease.

Clarkdale had shown positive growth in March and April compared to last year, but lagged by 6.4 percent in May. Construction was again a major influence, going from almost $14,500 to $6,000.

Follow the reporter on Twitter @ymgonzal and Instagram @VerdeValleyNews

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Reader Comments

Posted: Wednesday, June 25, 2014
Article comment by: Go Camp Verde

I'm such a fan of Camp Verde. I've lived here most of my life and I'm excited to see what the future holds for our little town. The possibilities are endless and the leadership is motivated. GO CAMP VERDE!

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