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City Reeling After Sales Tax Revenue Freefall

Funds down nearly $1.3 million in the fourth quarter.

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As the economy continues its downward spiral, the effects are filtering down through all levels of life here in Santa Clarita.

The impacts became clear again, when the city announced that preliminary sales tax figures from the fourth quarter indicate the largest decrease in revenue in the city's history.  

A 15% drop in sales tax revenue has been reported, a staggering fall from $8.6 million in the same quarter last year to $7.3 million this year.  

City Manager Ken Pulskamp says that he's never seen anything like it.

"In all of my years in local government, I've never seen such a dramatic decrease in sales tax revenue as we are seeing in our fourth quarter numbers.  By far this is the largest decrease in sales tax revenue our City has seen in 21 years."

As the city's top source of income, the sales tax drop has forced city staff to make adjustments to both this year's and next year's budget, which will begin in July.   

"In response to already-declining revenues, the City has already reduced 16 positions and reduced spending in the current fiscal year," Pulskamp said. As for next year he continued; "We will definitely be making changes across the board. Everything is on the table as we figure out how to move forward."

The city of Santa Clarita is notoriously conservative in crafting each year's budget, and staff has already asked each department to begin revising their individual budget proposals and start trimming the fat.